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Examining the backup QBs

Monday, we looked at the starting quarterbacks in the AFC West. Now let’s take a look at the backup spots in the division because there are some interesting situations:

Denver

As a whole, this is the most unclear quarterback situation in the division. The team has said Kyle Orton is the starter for now, but it won’t commit to him for the season. The team may give Tim Tebow a chance to start at some point. Thus, Orton could be traded. I don’t think Orton would be interested in sticking around as a backup, especially if Tebow is given the starting job before the season.

That could leave Brady Quinn as the backup. He was replaced by Tebow as the backup prior to the season and Quinn didn’t throw a pass last season. I think Denver would be reluctant to make Quinn the backup and it would rather keep him as the No.3 if at all. Denver could look for a No. 3 quarterback once it is able to sign undrafted rookies. But because of the condensed offseason (and perhaps training camp), Denver could opt to keep Quinn as a No. 3 and sign a veteran as a backup if Orton is dealt. This is a fluid situation at all three spots and the longer the lockout goes on, the more complicated it will get.

Kansas City

There should be change here, but it will likely be much less complicated than the Denver situation. I expect fifth-round pick Ricky Stanzi to get a chance to be the backup to Matt Cassel. Brodie Croyle is a free agent and I don’t expect the Chiefs to make a huge effort to re-sign him. I think the Chiefs will be happy with Cassel, Stanzi and Tyler Palko.

Oakland

It looks like Kyle Boller will be the backup behind Jason Campbell. Boller was re-signed this offseason and it looks like he was chosen to be the backup in front of Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye. If I had to guess I’d say Oakland could try to sign an undrafted rookie or re-sign Frye to be the No. 3 quarterback. I think Gradkowski may be heading out of town as a free agent.

San Diego

This has a chance to get interesting. Backup Billy Volek -- widely considered one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league -- is a free agent and has expressed a desire to vie for a starting job. A team that needs a quarterback could give Volek a chance, but the longer the lockout goes, the smaller the chances are of that happening. If Volek stays, the Chargers will be fine. If not, they could be scrambling for help behind Philip Rivers.