Kyle Orton's New Contract Extension: The Right Thing at the Right Time

Michael Keller@@MichaelK_NFLAnalyst IIIAugust 20, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 27:  Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos calls a play against the Philadelphia Eagles on December 27, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Broncos 30-27.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The announcement today of Mr. Orton receiving a one-year contract extension (worth up to $8.8 million with $5.5 million guaranteed) was one of the smartest moves the Broncos front office has made so far this season.

It provides Orton with a semblance of security that he didn't have before and will allow him to completely focus on the job at hand. Although he has never been vocal about not having a better deal, we all know it had to weigh on him mentally.

It recognizes the contribution he made last year as well as what he has done to get ready for this season. His knowledge of this very complex system is only exceeded by that of the McDaniel brothers.

His quiet but strong leadership has been respected by the other veteran leaders on this team. Players like Champ Bailey have said from the beginning of camp that "he is the guy."

By signing him, the Broncos have allowed themselves some freedom in what they decide to do both this year and next. No longer are they stuck trying to figure out if they should throw this year away to get Tim Tebow or Brady Quinn starts to prepare one of them to take the starter's role next year with Orton gone.

And it takes pressure off TT, although it might be argued that it puts more on Brady. There won't be room for all three players on next year's roster. And if they do decide to move Orton, it will be with a year to go on a reasonable but fair contract that should allow for some decent trade value.

But maybe the biggest thing it has accomplished is to show that Mr. Bowlen and the Broncos organization recognizes class acts when they see them.

Congratulations to both the team and Kyle!