AFC West: Kevin Kolb

Raiders' QB wait marches on

March, 31, 2013
As the Raiders wait for the Matt Flynn-Carson Palmer saga to unfold, a backup plan is now off the table.

Former Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb agreed to terms with Buffalo. He was reportedly being considered by Oakland if the Flynn trade doesn’t go through and Palmer doesn’t take a pay cut. The options are very few now if that scenario doesn't unfold.

Likely options would be bypassing massive defensive needs and taking West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith with the No. 3 pick. The Raiders could perhaps pursue Cleveland’s Colt McCoy, although he's not considered a starter. Oakland could also commit to third-year player Terrelle Pryor as the starter, but it doesn’t seem like the team is quite ready to go that route.

Right now, the main possibilities are Flynn and Palmer. The Flynn trade could go through in the next couple of days if he and the Raiders come to a contractual accord.

The Arizona Republic is reporting the Cardinals are not willing to give up much in a trade for Palmer. He is expected to be cut if he doesn’t take a pay cut.

Meanwhile, Cleveland reportedly has small interest in Giants receiver/returner Domenik Hixon. The former Denver draft choice visited the Raiders a few days ago.
While the Oakland Raiders continue to work on their quarterback issues, they need to also figure out the cornerback position.

Oakland has two starting spots open at the position. Take Terence Newman off the list. He has agreed to return to Cincinnati. Newman visited Oakland early in free agency and took an extended time to decide where he was going to play. He tweeted that he turned down more money from Oakland to return to the Bengals.

The Raiders are still in the mix for Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins. Porter visited this week and Jenkins, who is getting interest from Jacksonville and Buffalo, is set to soon visit Oakland.

Meanwhile, the quarterback wait continues in Oakland. The Raiders are in trade talks with Seattle about backup Matt Flynn. It’s been reported that if Oakland can figure out a contract with Flynn, the deal will happen. Current Oakland starter Carson Palmer could also agree to take a reduced contract to stay.

If both the Flynn and Palmer talks blow up -- there’s already talk that Arizona (starter) and San Francisco (backup) could make a play for Palmer if he is cut --- the Raiders reportedly might turn to former Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb. There is no timetable for this scenario to unfold. It could happen Saturday or extend into next week.

In other AFC West news:

CBS Sports reports the Denver Broncos are an option for veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield. He has other interest, and the veteran cornerback market is not a big priority for Denver right now.

Former Jets guard Matt Slauson signed with Chicago. He had been connected to Oakland because he played for new Oakland offensive line coach Tony Sparano last season.

Pass-rusher Dwight Freeney is being connected to Detroit. Denver has some interest, but Freeney’s price tag is currently too high. Denver might adjust its pass-rushing sights on the draft.
Wes Welker isn’t the only Tom Brady toy to join the AFC West this week. Running back Danny Woodhead has signed with the San Diego Chargers.

While Woodhead’s impact in San Diego very likely won’t match Welker’s in Denver, he should help the Chargers’ offense.

I wouldn’t necessarily say this is the end of the Chargers’ running back search. I think they will still look for a big complement to Ryan Mathews. Still, Woodhead is a nice gift for quarterback Philip Rivers.

The smallish Woodhead can fill sort of a Darren Sproles role in San Diego. Rivers loved dumping off to Sproles and exploiting the bubble screen. That has been missed in San Diego. Woodhead can bring a screen-pass element to the Chargers.

He had 40 catches for the Patriots last season and added 301 yards on the ground. Woodhead is a tough player who is good in the red zone.

Again, this isn’t an earth-shattering move. But it is a role-filling move by the new San Diego regime that is quietly adding some nice, impressive pieces.

UPDATE: Here is Matt Williamson's, of Scouts Inc., thought on the Woodhead signing: “They certainly needed a complement for Mathews and I would think the new coaching staff has a plan in place as to how to best use Woodhead’s versatility. He is a good addition if used right and not overused.

In other AFC West notes:

I think the addition of Geoff Schwartz in Kansas City is good for O-line depth. He could compete with Jeff Allen or play right tackle if the team doesn’t take Luke Joeckel at No. 1 in the draft. It beefs up the line.

The Cardinals cut QB Kevin Kolb. Because the Chiefs added backup Chase Daniel, that would make a reunion of Kolb and new Chiefs coach Andy Reid highly unlikely. When Reid was with the Eagles, he drafted Kolb.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that linebacker Dan Connor, cut by Dallas, has left Oakland without a deal. That doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t sign. But Oakland has signed two starting linebackers, so Connor would be getting a backup deal there. Connor will visit the Giants.

In a radio interview, Kansas City QB Alex Smith and WR Dwayne Bowe talk about what is ahead.

Alex Smith was Chiefs' best option

February, 27, 2013
Alex SmithBenny Sieu/US PresswireAlex Smith was the best available option for the Chiefs to upgrade under center.
Have the Kansas City Chiefs finally found their long-term franchise quarterback with the pending acquisition of Alex Smith?

That may be a stretch.

But he is a solid solution for the next few years, and considering the quality of available quarterbacks and the Chiefs’ considerable talent level, that may be good enough.

I don’t consider Smith a franchise quarterback. Frankly, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who does. But I do consider him a fine bridge starter, and he was the best option for Kansas City in 2013.

There is no question Smith gives the Chiefs the best opportunity to win now out of the group of available quarterbacks. Let’s face it: This is a bad year to need a quarterback.

Smith, who played well while compiling a record of 19-5-1 in 2011 and 2012 before he was hurt and replaced in San Francisco, is the best option. This trade means the Chiefs will not draft Geno Smith with the No. 1 overall pick. Smith was considered a major reach with the No. 1 pick, anyway.

Other potential options were Nick Foles of the Eagles and Matt Flynn of the Seahawks. New Kansas City coach Andy Reid drafted Foles and made him his starter last season. He would have been a fine fit -- a better fit than Smith because of his age and familiarity with Reid. The Chiefs asked about Foles, but he wasn't available.

New Kansas City general manager John Dorsey was with Flynn in Green Bay, but the Chiefs never really showed interest in Flynn. Besides, Smith is a better player than Flynn.

Yes, the compensation Kansas City paid is steep. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Chiefs sent a second-round pick this year (No. 34) and a conditional high pick in 2014. It’s a load, and the 49ers made out like bandits in this deal considering they were moving away from Smith.

For Kansas City, though, it’s the cost of doing business when you need a quarterback. If Smith leads the Chiefs to the playoffs a couple of times and finally solidifies the position, then the traded draft picks will be well worth it. The Chiefs think they can win with Smith, who turns 29 in May.

Getting a starting quarterback isn’t cheap. Oakland gave up a first- and second-round pick for Carson Palmer when he was 31, and Arizona gave up a second-round pick and standout cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for the unproven Kevin Kolb.

[+] EnlargeMatt Cassel
AP Photo/Ed ZurgaMatt Cassel had 18 turnovers (12 interceptions and six lost fumbles) and threw just six touchdowns in 2012.
Let’s not forget that Kansas City has a solid roster overall. A major reason this team went 2-14 in 2012 was poor leadership from coach Romeo Crennel and his staff and terrible quarterback play from Matt Cassel, who should be released any day, and Brady Quinn. The Chiefs addressed the coaching issue by hiring Reid, who is one of the most respected coaches in the NFL.

And now they have their quarterback.

I know many people worry that Smith is similar to Cassel, who was brought in by the previous regime in 2009 to be the franchise quarterback. Cassel played well in 2010 but regressed badly the past two years.

Smith is a better version of Cassel because he doesn’t turn the ball over. Smith turned the ball over six times last season, while Kansas City quarterbacks turned it over 29 times. He plays well in the West Coast system. And he'll benefit from a premier running game in Kansas City.

A key here is Reid. He reportedly has liked Smith, who was the seventh highest-ranked quarterback in Total QBR in 2012, since he was the No. 1 overall pick in 2005. Reid has shown he can succeed with multiple quarterbacks.

I think Reid and Smith have similar personalities. Both are calm and level-headed. Smith responded to good coaching when he played for Norv Turner and Jim Harbaugh. He will continue to get good coaching from Reid in an atmosphere that he should respond well to. Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. said Wednesday that Smith and Reid could make a good pair.

“Smith is great at valuing the football,” Williamson said. “How many wins would Kansas City have had last year with a quarterback who didn’t turn over the ball?”

If Smith continues to play well and continues to value the ball, the Chiefs should be much better in 2013. Are they a surefire playoff team with Smith? Well, that depends on a lot of variables, but there is no question that the addition of Smith gives them a better chance than any of the other available options.

For now, that’s all the Chiefs can ask for.

When Andy Reid took over as the Philadelphia Eagles coach in 1999, they ended up with the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft.

They took quarterback Donovan McNabb, and the Reid era in Philadelphia immediately was on the right track.

Will Reid try to take the same approach as he begins his tenure as the Kansas City Chiefs’ coach? The Chiefs have the No.1 pick in the draft and they badly need a quarterback.

The problem is it doesn’t appear that any of the quarterback prospects will be worth the No. 1 pick. The top choices -- North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon and West Virginia’s Geno Smith -- will likely be available later in the first round.

So, I don’t think the Reid selection will change the Chiefs’ draft plan. They will go for the top defensive player available. Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te'o may be the best bets for the Chiefs.

But that doesn’t do anything for the team’s quarterback plans.

I’ve heard several analysts say perhaps Reid can fix Matt Cassel. I don’t think Cassel should be an option. Like with Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel, the Chiefs need to completely start fresh at the position. Cassel is what we all know he is -- a backup. It would be a waste to start the Reid regime with Cassel as the starting quarterback.

I think the Chiefs will need to find a veteran bridge quarterback. It is natural to think perhaps Reid will try to reunite with a former Philadelphia quarterback such as Michael Vick or Kevin Kolb. He could probably get either of them if he wants.

Still, there is a faction that believes that Vick is too turnover prone and because Vick will soon be 33 years old, Reid may not be overly interested in him. Reid was ready to talk to the Cardinals this week, so that means he could be open to getting Kolb.

I think anything is on the table. What if the new Eagles brass doesn’t like second-year quarterback Nick Foles? Perhaps Reid can find a way to get him.

Like before the hiring of Reid, the Chiefs’ search for a quarterback is wide open. But there are now more possibilities. But the reality remains the same -- Kansas City won’t truly succeed until it gets a successful quarterback. That is Reid’s greatest challenge.
Oakland coach Dennis Allen told reporters that No. 3 receiver Jacoby Ford may miss some time with a sprained foot.

It is the same foot that cost Ford several games last season. Allen said the injury could keep Ford out of action once the regular season starts. Ford’s injury could mean serious playing time for rookies Juron Criner and Rod Streater. It also makes the trade of the reliable Louis Murphy (he was sent to Carolina for a conditional seventh-round pick) look less wise.

Veterans such as Plaxico Burress and Chad Johnson are available. If the Raiders suffer any more injuries at the position or if Ford's lingers, outside help may be necessary at a position that looks thin, at least for now.

The Raiders had several other injuries Friday in a loss at Arizona, but Allen doesn’t think any of them are serious at this point.

Meanwhile, Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb took umbrage with the derogatory comments Oakland defensive tackle Tommy Kelly made about him Friday night.
A look at the Raiders’ 31-27 loss at Arizona:

Oakland’s first-team defense continues to look to be ahead of the offense. That may not necessarily be a bad thing. The defensive side of the ball is the unit that needs to improve the most. Oakland has too much talent on offense to stall in the regular season. If the defense can made strides, it will signal overall progress as a team.

Quarterback Carson Palmer was shaky. He overthrew another pass that was intercepted. He did it in the first preseason game and he threw 16 picks last season. He needs to work on it.

Backup running back Mike Goodson had a rough night. He had five yards on six carries and he fumbled twice. The book on Goodson, acquired in a trade from Carolina earlier this year, was he fumbled too much. Goodson’s fumbling issues and the Raiders’ troubles in short-yardage situations in the preseason may make the Raiders re-think their need for more help at the position.

Goodson suffered a shoulder injury on a night the Raiders were banged up a bit.

Third receiver Jacoby Ford sprained his foot and was on crutches. Backup quarterback Matt Leinart has a finger injury on his non-throwing hand and Darrius Heyward-Bey has a sprained shoulder. Oakland coach Dennis Allen said he will know more about the injuries Saturday.

Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly looks great this preseason. He is all over the field and he nailed Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb for a safety. Also, Kelly made news when, after the game, he said Kolb was “scared” and “skittish.” Scouts have been saying that for a while and now Kelly has publicly made the claim.

Oakland was penalized just four times. This team appears to be making major strides in that area. Kudos to all involved. Oakland set an NFL record for penalties and penalty yardage last season. Allen seems to be improving the defense and making the team more disciplined. That has to be an encouraging sign.

The Raiders showed solid pass-rushing skills. They finished with four sacks.

Undrafted rookie Rod Streater had seven catches. He has 13 catches in two games. He’s a keeper.

Cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke had another poor showing in the preseason. He was great in camp, bad in games. Fellow second-year cornerback Chimdi Chekwa is playing better and he could be the young cornerback vying for a starting job.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the blocked punt Arizona had for a touchdown. Marquette King is not Shane Lechler. Things will change in the regular season.

Third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor threw just three passes. We likely won’t see much of him until the final preseason game Aug. 30. Then he’ll likely be put in mothballs for the regular season, as far as game action goes.
Marcus McNeill said he is planning to visit the Kansas City Chiefs. He was cut by the Chargers earlier in the week.

Marcus McNeill
McNeill broke the news on his visit with the Detroit Lions. He is also scheduled to visit the Falcons and he said he won’t sign until he weighs all of his options. The news of the Kansas City visit begs some questions. The Chiefs are visiting with right tackle Eric Winston on Friday.

If Winston signs, the only way McNeill would join the Chiefs is if they want to replace Branden Albert at left tackle. I wouldn’t think they would want to replace Albert right now. If Winston doesn’t sign in Kansas City and McNeill does, McNeill would play left tackle and Albert could slide to right tackle. An Albert move to the right side has been discussed for a few years.

McNeill maintains he is now healthy following last season, which was cut short due to a neck injury last season. The Chargers cut him because he was owed a huge signing bonus. Interestingly, McNeill’s replacement is Jared Gaither, who was cut by the Chiefs during last season.

In other AFC West news:

NFL Network is reporting Oakland receiver Chaz Schilens is close to signing with the Jets. He was once a promising player for Oakland, but injuries derailed his Oakland career. UPDATE: Schilens is officially a Jet. He signed a one-year deal. He reunites with former Oakland position coach Sanjay Lal, who has the same job with the Jets.

ESPN’s Suzy Kolber reports the Cardinals are exercising a huge option for quarterback Kevin Kolb, so the Cardinals are out of the running for Peyton Manning. However, the 49ers have joined the race. For now, it appears the Manning chase is down to Denver, Tennessee and San Francisco.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports pass-rusher John Abraham is staying in Atlanta. Denver had been interested. Denver is also interested in Baltimore linebacker Jameel McClain, Tampa Bay linebacker Geno Hayes and Seattle cornerback Marcus Trufant.

As the Denver Broncos’ brass flies to North Carolina to see Peyton Manning throw, their competition for him has lessened.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter just reported that the Miami Dolphins are officially out of the running for Manning. Miami was initially considered a front-runner for Manning, partly because he owns a home there. Schefter reported the Dolphins were told they are no longer in the mix.

The three known finalists for Manning are Denver, Tennessee and Arizona. But the Cardinals could bow out of the Manning race Friday, because they owe quarterback Kevin Kolb a major bonus Friday, and Manning does not appear close to making a decision.

The Broncos appear to be in the Manning chase for the long haul, as their workout with him Friday indicates. Schefter reports Denver is bringing a big crew to North Carolina to watch Manning throw, including leader John Elway, coach John Fox, key offensive coaches and its medical team.

The Denver Broncos are taking the next step in the Peyton Manning process.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the Broncos brass is flying to North Carolina on Friday to meet with Manning and to watch him work out. Schefter said this is simply the next step in the process and it doesn't mean Denver is the favorite to land Manning.

But it is significant for two reasons -- Denver will get the opportunity to see Manning work out and to see if he is recovering from a neck injury that kept him out for the 2011 season and because Manning and the Broncos will see if they are comfortable with taking the next step with each other.

Schefter said other teams will likely work out Manning. The four finalists have been considered Denver, Tennessee, Miami and Arizona. The Dolphins and Cardinals may be falling out of the race. The Dolphins are pursuing Green Bay’s Matt Flynn and the Cardinals have to make a final decision on a big bonus for quarterback Kevin Kolb on Friday. Because the Manning process is ongoing, the Cardinals have to make a fast decision.

Thus, Denver and Tennessee appear to be the teams in for the long haul for Manning. Schefter said another team can enter the fray, but that appears to be a long shot.

For now, the Broncos are preparing for their second meeting with Manning and the team has to feel good about its place in this chase.
Random thoughts on San Diego’s 34-31 win at Arizona on Saturday night:

For the first time in the preseason, the Chargers’ starters struggled. The first two preseason games were a lark. Saturday night, the Chargers were punched in the face a few times.

The San Diego defense, which played without Antonio Garay, Shaun Phillips and Larry English, was hit hard at times. It gave up an 80-yard pass play for a touchdown. Arizona starting quarterback Kevin Kolb threw for 205 yards and Arizona starting running back Beanie Wells had 63 yards rushing.

The Cardinals took a 17-3 lead with starters from both teams in the game. The Cardinals led 24-17 at the half.

San Diego’s offense struggled early. Quarterback Philip Rivers, who was nearly flawless in the first two games, threw an interception that was returned 34 yards for a score by rookie Patrick Peterson. The San Diego first-team offense did improve as the game went on. Rivers ended up throwing for 198 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-28 passing. Starting receivers Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd both came up with some big plays.

Rivers said after the game that it was good for San Diego to experience some difficulty in the preseason after the easy start. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I don’t put much stock in the preseason. It’s all about getting situational experience. This game will benefit the Chargers.

Rookie Ryan Mathews showed his explosiveness with a 48-yard run. He finished with 69 yards on 10 carries.

Young inside linebacker Donald Butler continued his strong summer with five tackles.

Defensive lineman Vaughn Martin had a sack. He had two sacks last week.

Backup quarterback Billy Volek showed his worth by taking his team on the game-winning 90-yard drive. While the Chargers don’t want to think about playing without Rivers, they know they have one of the NFL’s best backups in Volek.

Reviewing the Raiders' opener

August, 12, 2011
Let’s review some key aspects from the Oakland Raiders’ 24-18 loss to visiting Arizona as they joined San Diego and Denver as last-moment AFC West losers on the opening night of the NFL preseason. Arizona scored a 28-yard pass with 39 seconds remaining.
  • There’s no doubt the Raiders wanted to see rookie Denarius Moore in game action. The fifth-round pick has been a star of training camp and Oakland unleashed the receiver from Tennessee. He played in the first half and he returned both a kickoff and a punt. Moore was targeted six times as a receiver and had a team-high three catches for 41 yards. It’s clear Oakland is not worried about slowly bringing this kid along. I bet we see a lot more of him early in the next couple of preseason games.
  • Fellow rookie, tight end David Ausberry, had one catch, but he made it count. The seventh-round pick who has converted from receiver to tight end had an 18-yard touchdown catch from Trent Edwards as they played with the third string. Ausberry, like Moore, has been impressive in the camp.
  • The Raiders’ backup quarterbacks, Kyle Boller and Edwards, both got long looks and they both looked good. Edwards, who led the Raiders on a few second-half scoring drives, completed 9 of 18 passes for 124 yards. Kyle Boller, who was the No. 2 quarterback, was 8-of-9 for 56 yards. This will be an interesting race for the No. 2 job. Oakland starter Jason Campbell was efficient as he completed 6 of 10 passes for 65 yards.
  • Oakland’s pass defense was picked on some in the first half. Arizona starting quarterback Kevin Kolb and backup John Skelton combined to complete 10 of 17 passes for 164 yards and one touchdown. The Raiders are adjusting to life without star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who is now an Eagle. The Raiders' second-half secondary was not overly strong, either. Four Arizona quarterbacks combined to toss for 300 yards and three touchdowns. The secondary will be a point of emphasis for Oakland all preseason.
  • It’s all about Seabass. Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski was in midseason form as he converted all four of his field-goal attempts, including a 57-yard whopper in the fourth quarter to give the Raiders the lead. Janikowski converted 33 field goals last year. I’m sure Oakland coach Hue Jackson would like to see the Raiders reach the end zone more. Two of Janikowski’s field goals were very short.
  • The Oakland offensive line had its ups and downs. The Raiders averaged just 3.3 yards rushing, but Arizona had just two sacks.
  • Oakland safety Hiram Eugene suffered a possible serious leg injury, according to ESPN’s John Clayton.

Afternoon AFC West notes

August, 11, 2011
ESPN’s Ed Werder caught up with Tim Tebow in Dallas preparing for Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Cowboys.

Tebow told Werder he plans to show the coaches that it is in games where he shines. Tebow has not looked great in training camp this summer.

"Practice and meetings count, but there's extra credit when you get into game situations because that's how you're judged,” Tebow said. “Either you can score touchdowns or you can't; either you make good decisions for your team or you don't.”

An Insider piece Insider ponders if Tebow or Ricky Stanzi could be the next Kevin Kolb.

Jerricho Cotchery signed with the Steelers, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He was the favorite target of San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers at North Carolina State. The Chargers ended up not showing major interest, because they liked their group of receivers after keeping starter Malcom Floyd.

Pass rusher Matt Roth signed with Jacksonville. He was connected to Denver.

In a radio interview, Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli discusses the team’s approach to free agency.

Mike and Mike break down the Broncos.

Denver’s stadium may get a name change.

Three things: Raiders-Cardinals

August, 11, 2011
Three things to watch for in Oakland’s preseason opener against visiting Arizona on Thursday night. Kickoff is set for 10 p.m. ET.

Cornerback play: The Raiders are starting life after Nnamdi Asomugha, who signed with Philadelphia. Let’s see how their first-team cornerback play in his absence. Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb will probably fling the ball around in his limited time so it will be interesting to see how Oakland handles it.

The offensive line: Oakland’s offensive line is still a work in progress. Let’s see how the unit plays throughout the game. A lot of players have a chance to contribute, so it’s interesting to see how everyone performs.

Jason Campbell: The quarterback’s progress is vital to this team, so he needs to perform well in his limited playing time against the Cardinals.

What to do with Kyle Orton?

July, 29, 2011
The Kyle Orton situation in Denver is officially a mess.

Let’s get things clear: No matter what the Broncos may now say in the aftermath of the flubbed trade attempt, they wanted to trade Orton. They wouldn’t have spent the past three days trying to deal him to Arizona or Miami for their health. They wanted to move the veteran quarterback to clear salary-cap space and they wanted to give Tim Tebow an open highway to see if he can be the future of the franchise.

Now, Denver is at a major crossroads.

Tired of waiting for the road blocks to clear, Miami has acquired Matt Moore and they are reportedly out of the Orton mix. Of course, with Kevin Kolb in the fold, so are the Cardinals. No other team is currently in the market for a starting quarterback. That will only change if a quarterback suffers an injury during the preseason.

So what do the Broncos do? They are stuck with a valuable player they don’t want and their quarterback situation is a complicated mess. Whatever Denver does, it has to make a decision quickly.

Here are the Broncos’ choices: They can cut Orton. They can make him the starter. They can make him the backup to Tebow and wait for someone to get hurt.

Keeping Orton as the starter while waiting for another quarterback to get hurt is tricky because it will stunt Tebow’s development. This is a player who needs all the repetitions he can get in a year in which the lockout took away priceless offseason time from Tebow and his coaches. If Tebow is going to be Denver’s starting quarterback Sept. 12 against Oakland on ESPN’s "Monday Night Football," he needs to work with the first team pronto.

What would starting a quarterback it didn’t want in Orton do for Denver’s long-term progress? This is a team that is rebuilding. Orton won’t be there in 2012, and not finding out what Tebow can do until 2012 would be counterproductive as well.

The Broncos are in a tough spot as a result of the Dolphins’ decision. Denver has to decide what to do and live with it.

UPDATE: reports the Dolphins are still interested in Orotn. That would be good news for Denver.