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Kyle Orton's price tag on the rise: Will Dolphins, Cardinals, Seahawks, Vikings pony up?

Kyle Orton.
Kyle Orton continues to be a hot topic in this very strange NFL offseason -- and getting hotter.

With reported interest from the Miami Dolphins and the Minnesota Vikings, sources suggest that the Broncos now want more value for KO before shipping him to another franchise.

NFL Network's Jason La Canfora thinks the odds of a deal are complicated by the likelihood of less preparation time than usual before the games get underway, the fact that Orton's in the final year of his contract extension, and Denver's willingness to keep him on the roster if the offers aren't sweet enough. Canfora writes:

You can have him at the right price -- Denver is obviously rebuilding, needs picks and Orton is in the final year of his extension -- but it won't be cheap.

If the right call comes in and the offer is strong, it will be considered, according to sources. But the idea that a third- or fourth-round pick might get it done is woefully misguided. A high second-round pick that converts to a first-rounder based on production, now that could be a different story.

Would the Broncos regard anything less to be a deal breaker? CBSSports.com's Will Brinson doesn't think so:

Now, if someone comes calling with a pile of mid-round picks, you've got to think the Broncos will consider making a move. Doing so won't guarantee them any wins now but it will help them in the long term and it will put Tim Tebow on the field right away.

That's not necessarily a formula for winning the division in 2011, but it's a pretty good formula for winning back fans who might be perturbed by the lockout situation.

This last observation is key. The Josh McDaniels debacle has led to unhappiness among Broncos fans of the sort we haven't seen around here for decades -- and naming Orton the starter, even if he may give the team a better chance for victories than does Tim Tebow, won't turn their frowns upside-down. Life might be easier for new coach John Fox, John Elway and the rest of the Denver braintrust if they simply take a flier on Tebow. That way, if he fails, they'll have support for changes they can't bank on now.

Of course, there's no telling whether the Dolphins and Vikings, as well as QB-needing teams like the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks, can sell their followers on Orton as the answer, since his healthy stats didn't convert into many W's last season. And squads won't be willing to meet the Broncos' demands without the sense that the move will garner enthusiasm among the masses.

That's why the current chatter about Orton is so valuable. The more people talk about his attributes, the more likely someone will pay handsomely for his services.

More from our Sports archive: "Top 10 ways Josh McDaniels has destroyed the Denver Broncos."

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CJ Powell
CJ Powell

I hate how polarized our fan base is right now - and it's all because of Josh McDaniels.

In addition to weakening our roster by trading away a host of talent and then drafting players that couldn't even find the field, McDaniels also shattered our once united fan base and turned them all against each other. First with the Cutler situation - where half of the town supported the trade and half hated the trade - and then by drafting Tim Tebow after Kyle Orton just completed a Pro Bowl caliber year. 

I don't want to live in a QB-controversy town, where one bad performance will kill a guy's confidence and not allow him to lead the team. 

Yes, it would be nice to get high value for Orton, but I think Elway needs to trade him regardless of the offer. I personally believe Tebow will fail as our QB, and I'm woefully sick of the hoopla that surrounds him. So, let him play, let him lose and let us turn the page next year with a first round QB selection. 

Eric
Eric

The chatter's a testament to the fact the guy can play.

With him, you have a professional at the position. A guy that can compete every series.That's huge. It's so hard to win at that level that guys routinely get run off for stuff that's out of their control, for things they can't do anything about.

When you have a player that's seen 60-70 snaps a game, 70-75 games, that's got a cannon for an arm and that's willing to stick it out, keep his mouth shut, work hard, accept competition from a guy that can't physically match his ability without getting shitty, you'd better think twice before unloading him. The other guys see that, see a leader, see that they've got a guy that's not afraid of big situations. and will be wondering why you unloaded him..........if you don't get a boatload for him.

One big consideration for Elway is that Orton has the locker room right now, and is seen by the players as their leader.

Players expect management to be competent. To conduct operations with reasonable skill. Should the Broncos deal Orton,making Tebow their immediate future, Tebow will be put in the position of having to be very good, very quickly. Players want to win, want to be in the playoffs, want to make a large amount of money quickly in what they realize is a short career.

Should the Broncos go 4-12 and Tebow isn't capable of competing at the NFL level while Orton goes somewhere and excells, even the Tebow timers in the tax payer funded stadium will abandon the ship .Also...... even more important........ Front office management will be scorned.........by the players themselves.........because the Broncos knew what they had in Orton before they let him go.

Tread lightly John. 

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