NFL trade rumors have slowed down considerably after the free agency frenzy that took place at the end of the 2011 lockout.
But as usual each year, the NFL keeps us busy speculating and predicting what the next big move might be. This year, the Denver Broncos have already taken center stage once in the NFL trade rumors talks, and they're taking the position again.
Only this time it isn't Kyle Orton facing the axe in the Mile High City.
Kyle Orton began his 2011 post-lockout offseason for the Denver Broncos as a perceived outcast of the team. Fans of the franchise, engulfed in "Tebowmania," blamed the quarterback for the Broncos' dismal 4-12 W-L record in 2010.
Only a month after Kyle Orton was expected to be traded away to the Miami Dolphins, the situation has turned 180 degrees, and a different Denver quarterback faces the possibility of changing jerseys for the 2011 NFL regular season.
Over the last two weeks of the NFL Preseason, fans have learned a few things about Kyle Orton. He's not worried about what the fans think about him. He enjoys and actively engages in competition concerning his position controversy. And most importantly: He is and will remain the Denver Broncos' starting quarterback for 2011.
Two preseason games and an entire training camp of position domination has cemented Kyle Orton as the Denver Broncos' starter. On August, 22nd, head coach John Fox made it official, as he publicly announced Orton as the starter for Denver's week one showdown against the Oakland Raiders, September 12th on Monday Night Football.
Amidst news of Kyle Orton getting the job, there have been rumors of another quarterback being placed on Denver's trading block—fan favorite Tim Tebow.
Tebow has faced plenty of adversity during his short career in Denver, even before being drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Critics have come forward from every corner of the country, every facet of the sports news world, to publicly make it known that they are not on the Tebow bandwagon.
Criticism may now take a back seat to what would surely be the biggest blow to young Tim Tebow's ego—a trade.
However, looking plainly at this scenario, it's logical to deduce that this story may end up as just another of the many NFL trade rumors this year.
Mike Freeman of CBS Sports.com says that Denver is not "openly" attempting to trade Tebow. I would certainly agree.
After two less than satisfactory displays during the 2011 NFL Preseason, Tebow's stock in the NFL has slid considerably. Pair this with the fact that as a starting quarterback Tebow would make over $9 million this year on his current contract, and a trade for Tim seems very unlikely.
Almost every NFL team is so close to reaching their salary cap for the season. I can't think of a team that would pay this much for a third string quarterback, or any third string player for that matter.
For Tim, it would be best if Denver holds on to the potential prospect and continues to work toward turning him into something more along the lines of what Josh McDaniels imagined when he traded up for Tebow in last year's draft. At the very least, the training staff could raise his stock in the coming years and earn a bit more value for him down the road.
If a deal manages to arise that Denver could not refuse, Tebow's last remaining hope would be that it comes from a program with enough time to turn a very rough specimen into something acceptable for a starting NFL job.
So, how would the fans react to an early 2011 Tim Tebow trade?
I can tell you that as Tebow's is the highest selling jersey in NFL history, this would make for plenty of buyer's remorse around the world. Unfortunately for these buyers, and those in the Denver Broncos' front office, they may have purchased a lemon—for which there is no warranty.