Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Updated: July 28, 9:45 PM ET
Sources: Dolphins eye Kyle Orton deal
ESPN.com news service
Denver and Miami are discussing a trade that would send Kyle Orton to the Dolphins, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The Broncos have been asking other teams for a premium pick in return for Orton, the sources said.
With Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb expected to be dealt to Arizona, Miami becomes the most logical landing spot for Orton.
Orton is due $8.829 million this season and doesn't want to be a backup in Denver. While the Broncos have said Orton is their returning starter, the veteran QB apparently feels Tim Tebow's promotion is a foregone conclusion, as do some of his teammates.
Orton has started the last two seasons in Denver, posting career-best passing numbers to go with 41 TD throws and 21 interceptions. He gave way to Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner and national champion at Florida, for the final three games last year.
Orton, whom former coach Josh McDaniels obtained in the Jay Cutler trade two years ago, reported to Dove Valley on Wednesday for a physical and new coach John Fox's first team meeting.
The first practice is Thursday morning.
Orton declined to comment to reporters as he left the facility about 1 p.m. and again when he returned three hours later for the team meeting.
After saying early on in the offseason that Orton was the incumbent, the Broncos' new front office football chief John Elway, general manager Brian Xanders and Fox haven't made any public comments about Orton's situation of late.
Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, however, described Orton's presence at the facility Wednesday as awkward.
"Yeah, I didn't know what was going on," Lloyd said. "I didn't know all the rules and stuff, but there's obviously some logistical things about showing up to camp. Technically, he's still a member of the Denver Broncos football team, so it was normal after I saw him."
Lloyd and Orton made a great duo last season, but Lloyd has moved on, figuring it's Tebow's time now.
"I've been spending most of my brainpower in the offseason focusing on how to get Tebow better and what I can do to help him develop as a quarterback," said Lloyd, who spent a week with Tebow preparing for training camp.
"Kyle's going to be awesome, wherever he goes," Lloyd said. "There's a lot of vacancies in the NFL for really good quarterbacks, and Kyle's a really good quarterback, and he's going to be fine."
Actually, those vacancies are starting to fill up, whittling the list of potential landing spots for Orton, who has amassed 7,455 yards passing over the last two seasons but won just 11 of 29 starts.
Tebow went 1-2 as a rookie, completing 41 of 82 passes for 654 yards, five TDs and three interceptions with six sacks. He also rushed for 227 yards and six scores.
"I think Tim's ready," Lloyd said. "And I think it's going to put a lot of pressure on us veterans to make him better. That's what it comes down to."
Star pass-rusher Elvis Dumervil praised both quarterbacks.
"Man, I think both of those guys are good players. That's a decision the front office has to make. That's not really my area," he said. "Well, whoever the guy is we've got to rally around him because obviously he's the team captain being the quarterback."
Defensive captain Brian Dawkins said Tebow's trial run in 2010 showed he possessed "a lot of grit, a lot of determination, and he is as advertised as far as being a fiery guy."
Also on Wednesday, the Broncos traded wide receiver Jabar Gaffney to Washington for defensive end Jeremy Jarmon.
The 30-year-old Gaffney has 375 receptions over nine NFL seasons with Houston, New England and Denver. He is coming off the best back-to-back seasons of his career: 54 catches for 732 yards in 2009 and 65 catches for 875 yards last year.
Gaffney also made news last year when he provided the gun that teammate Kenny McKinley used to commit suicide. Gaffney said he sold the gun to McKinley legally.
"He's the best receiver I've ever played with. He's mentally the toughest; he's physically the toughest," Lloyd said. "He doesn't take plays off. He's consistent. He catches the ball. He knows what he's doing. I mean, he could be the third-string quarterback.
"And I think that as sad as it is for him leaving, I'm happy for him because it's a fresh start. And it's a vacancy that they need. They need a consistent, every-down pass-catcher on that team, a bigger guy. They got a whole bunch of little receivers and they need a bigger guy there to catch the ball and be consistent, be tough, not miss practice, not miss games."
Gaffney's departure creates a starting opportunity for second-year receiver Eric Decker, allowing Eddie Royal to stay in the slot.
"It opens it up," Lloyd said. "I don't know what the climate of our receiving corps is right now. I know it leaves us with a void in having a true outside receiver who can get open and catch the ball on a consistent basis. But we're just going to have to develop and get better."
Jarmon, selected by the Redskins in the third round of the 2009 supplemental draft, was an odd man out when Washington switched to a 3-4 defensive scheme last season, fitting in neither as a defensive end nor as a pass-rushing outside linebacker. He played in 16 games over two seasons, totaling just 11 tackles.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.