Where Does Kyle Orton Rank Among Possible Acquisitions for QB-Hungry Teams?
While Orton is technically still under contract with the Denver Broncos, he has to be considered a possibility for teams looking to add a quarterback before the season.
When Miami expressed an interest in adding a veteran quarterback to compete with Chad Henne, the Broncos were quick to put Orton up on the trading block. The Broncos needing to clear up some cap space furthers the notion that Orton can be had for the right price.
His status on the trading block puts Orton in the conversation with Carson Palmer and Marc Bulger among the best options available for teams looking to add another quarterback.
Which quarterback a team sets its sights on depends on what they are trying to accomplish and what they are willing to sacrifice to get the player.
For teams looking to find a unquestioned starter with Pro Bowl potential, Carson Palmer is probably their choice.
Palmer was recently put on the reserve/did not report list as he began to carry out his promise that he would retire if he was not traded.
Cincinnati has called his bluff to this point, but if he continues to refuse to report, I'm sure they would like to try to get something in return for his services. The fact that Palmer originally wanted to be traded also says that he still wants to play.
As a recent Pro Bowl quarterback, Palmer has the most upside of the three. Things went south on him in Cincinnati quickly, but it's not hard to imagine a scenario where Palmer could have a comeback season with the right offensive weapons around him.
Palmer will also be the most expensive, though. Palmer will stand to make 11.5 million this season and the Bengals will undoubtedly want a nice package in return for their trouble.
Bulger, on the other hand, will be the easiest to get. Bulger is not under contract and with the exception of some brief speculation that the Arizona Cardinals were interested, there has been little rumor surrounding Bulger's eventual destination.
Bulger might come cheap and easy, but you can never be sure what you'll get from him. After a brief period of great success between 2003 and 2006, Bulger's play has taken a turn for the worse.
He was last seen as the shell-shocked and often injured quarterback of the St. Louis Rams. In 2009, he only started eight games, throwing five touchdowns and six interceptions.
Bulger is a nice option for a team simply looking for a veteran to push an unproven quarterback, but you don't want him as the unchallenged starter of your team.
Orton seems to the happy medium between the two and the safest selection. Orton doesn't have near the upside of Palmer. He has never been as prolific a passer and no one will mistake him for a perennial Pro Bowler. He will, however, come cheaper than Palmer.
Orton is also a better option than Bulger. Orton has proven to be a steady hand at quarterback, much more so than Bulger in recent years.
If I'm an NFL general manager looking for a quarterback, Orton is my primary target. The Broncos need cap relief and trading Orton accomplishes that, so they might be willing to take 50 cents on the dollar for him.
He's also just the safest selection. Palmer could be a star once again, but he has fought injuries over the last few seasons. Bulger just isn't the same player he once was and there's no indication that he will ever return to form.
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