Early signs in the 2011 season point to Orton (not Tebow) leading the Broncos in 2011
As the official start date of the 2011 NFL league year draws near (August 4), and the trade with the Miami Dolphins for a draft pick compensation in exchange for Kyle Orton running out of steam, it is looking more and more like the Broncos won't get the value in a trade that they were looking for by dealing Orton.
Training camp in Dove Valley is now under way, and it is obvious that Tim Tebow is not the #1 starter, and he may not even be #2. The lack of developments in the Orton trade may spell doom for Tebow's second season in the league and despair for the Tebow faithful who are begging the Broncos to begin the Tebow era in Denver.
I submit to the Broncos faithful five reasons that Orton and not Tebow will lead the Broncos in 2011.
Deal with the Dolphins for Orton is teetering on destruction
Kyle Orton remains the only high-profile quarterback available to teams this offseason.
The other available quarterbacks on the market right now project to be starters, and only Orton appears to be a viable starter on any team. Several sources say that the deal to the Miami Dolphins have reached a stalemate as the Broncos want a draft pick that is at least 3rd round or better, and the Dolphins are not excited about the hefty contract Orton is owed in 2011. Orton himself, the third factor is banking on that big payoff and wouldn't accept a trade to the Dolphins without at least the money due by the Broncos, and would like to re-structure the deal to extend it 5 or 6 years, and a salary averaging about $6 million/year.
Because of these circumstances the Broncos won't move Orton, and instead, they will give Orton the chance to compete for the starting quarterback role.
Elway, Xanders and Co. aren't getting any luck negotiating deals with free agents.
Elway, Xanders, and Co. have been denied in free agency on every front. The Carolina Panthers have lured DeAngelo Williams and Charles Johnson to remain with Carolina, and the Broncos have had no success signing any other free agents.
There are many free agents still on the board to pursue at the Broncos' most thin positions, namely DT: Brandon Mebane, Ronald Fields, Pat Williams and RB: Willis McGahee, Jason Snelling, Ronnie Brown.
The Broncos limited success in free agency means extra cap room to retain Orton to meet the cap minimum.
The Broncos lost to the Panthers in the bidding war to acquire the explosive DeAngelo Williams
This point goes hand in hand with the lack of big name signings for the Broncos in free agency.
The Broncos lack of substantial roster additions moves them closer to the salary floor of $108 million for the 2011 season. The Denver Post's Dave Krieger has reported that the league's senior vice president of labor negotiations, Peter Ruocco has confirmed that the team's dead money (cash owed to players no longer with the Broncos) will not count towards the 2011 salary cap, instead the dead money will count towards the 2012 season for any players released after June 6.
Ok, enough of the financial mumbo jumbo, what it all means is that the Broncos have been relieved of about $17 million towards this season's salary cap. It puts them in a position to sign all of their draft picks, pay Orton for 2011, and lackadaisically pursue high profile free agents while remaining above the salary floor.
Tim Tebow doesn't have the experience to supplant Kyle Orton head-to-head
The Denver Broncos new head coach, John Fox, is a defensive minded coach, who hasn't been able to develop rookie and inexperienced quarterbacks in his head coaching career.
It's obvious that Tim Tebow needs a lot of work to become a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Kyle Orton had impressive stats in 2010 and came into training camp ready to go. He has 7 years of experience playing in the NFL and has already beaten Tebow in last year's quarterback competition. Orton has an incentive to perform in training camp to ensure himself the starting job and a big contract from whomever decides to pursue him in 2012.
If Orton is still on the roster alongside Tebow and Brady Quinn, Orton gives John Fox the best chance to succeed, and Fox couldn't justify substituting Tebow over Orton when the average onlooker sees the two play side by side.
Last year's Matt Moore debacle for the Carolina Panthers cost Fox his job, and he is unlikely to repeat the same mistake in consecutive years.
Tim Tebow needs more time
I love Tim Tebow. I am a huge fan. However, it remains clear that he still needs more time. He has amazing intangibles and he is a proven winner at other levels, but that isn't enough in the NFL. Every year collegiate quarterbacks come into the NFL with great track records of accomplishments in college, and struggle at the next level, and eventually find themselves out of a job.
If Tebow is rushed into the starting spot at this point in his career, his inexperience may shipwreck any chances he might have at ever making it as a quarterback in the NFL.
The Broncos faithful and Tebow worshipers may not like to hear it, but more time is needed to develop Tebow before he is thrust into do or die mode in Denver.
Tebow's time will come, but it won't be at the start of the 2011 season.