The Denver Post’s Mike Klis says that Kyle Orton‘s “days as the Broncos‘ starting QB may be down to hours.” The Broncos, writes Klis, have officially placed Orton on the trading block.
The list of teams that could have interest in swinging a deal for Orton once the trading period begins Tuesday at 9 AM CT includes the Vikings, Cardinals, Titans, Redskins, Seahawks, Bengals and Dolphins.
But that’s just a speculative list. Do the Vikings really have interest in Orton? Hard to say. Yesterday coach Leslie Frazier gave a strong indication that the Vikings intend going into the season with Christian Ponder at QB. “I wouldn’t put it past us to open the season with a young quarterback,” Frazier told reporters. If the plan is to go with Ponder, it’s unlikely the Vikings would cough up the 3rd round pick it’s believed would be needed to pry Orton away from Denver.
Also keep in mind that Orton is owed $9 million for 2011. That’s a lot of money to take on for a team that’s already facing serious cap issues.
To me the price seems too steep for Orton – if you only intend keeping him for one year. But let’s say the Vikings secretly had a plan to trade for Orton then sign him for an extra year, giving Ponder two full seasons to learn behind him.
To my eyes, the chances of this last scenario are slim at best. The Vikings used the 12th overall pick on Ponder and surely want to see what he can do right off the bat. It makes much more sense to go with a one-year veteran option like Marc Bulger or Donovan McNabb (after McNabb realizes there’s no market for his services and becomes willing to take a massive pay cut to probably sit on the bench).
Orton would be nice in a short-term sense and I’m sure the veterans on the team who are skeptical of Ponder would be reassured by his presence. I’m just not sure Orton makes sense for the Vikings at the price they’d have to pay.