Good Morning, Broncos fans! More information is finally leaking out regarding the Broncos' near trade of Kyle Orton to the Dolphins. Apparently, it was Miami owner Stephen Ross who nixed the deal, because he is set upon having a clear franchise QB in place for the 2012 season, and well, you know... Ross also intends to hire someone with the stature of Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden and Jeff Fisher to either run his team or coach it. In case you care about these things for some odd reason, Cowher was TJ's first coaching choice for the Broncos post-Shanahan, while I was hoping for Fisher earlier this year.
Further, Chris Mortensen says the deal was so close to fruition that Kyle's transportation to the Sunshine State had been arranged. In other words, the Broncos were more than prepared to ship Orton off, as we've figured since about nine months ago. But you know, continue to blame John Fox or John Elway for Orton not being moved. We don't need no stinking facts when we have our sights set on someone, right?
UPDATE 9:43AM ET - Links to Peter King, Mike Silver and Jonathan Comey's columns have been added, as well as Klis' updated article on the Lloyd trade talks.
Mike Klis has updated his Lloyd trade talk article to say that the team offered Brandon a two-year deal with no signing bonus. It cannot be stated strongly enough how underwhelming such a proposal sounds. Klis also say the Broncos would indeed be willing to trade Orton to the Raiders, should Oakland be interested.
Andrew Mason thinks it would make no sense for Denver to deal Orton at this point, and he says part of the motivation for seeking a trade of Brandon Lloyd is that the team wants to find out what it has in Demaryius Thomas. Plus, Mason says that Eddie Royal (assuming he's not traded), Demaryius and Julius Thomas are all expected to have full weeks of practice leading up to the Miami game.
Stuart Zaas interviewed OL coach Dave Magazu for the official site.
Gray Caldwell shares a Q&A with Charley Casserly of CBS Sports about the current state of the Broncos.
Oakland took down the Browns 24-17 on the day they honored Al Davis, but they lost Jason Campbell for the season with a broken collarbone. According to Jason Cole, the Raiders are trying hard to acquire Carson Palmer in response to the loss of Campbell, but he writes that Bengals owner Mike Brown is highly unlikely to budge on dealing his "retired" QB away. Meanwhile,
Chuck Norris Peyton Hillis missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury.
Atlanta got two TDs from Michael Turner, scored 17 fourth-quarter points, and picked off Cam Newton three times to beat the Panthers 31-17.
Cincy needed some big, late plays on special teams (blocked FG) and defense (fumble return TD) to get by the winless Colts 27-17.
The Niners moved to 5-1 and handed Detroit their first loss of the season 25-19 as Alex Smith threw a six-yard TD pass on fourth down to go ahead in the closing minutes. Matt Bowen is rather impressed by the Niners. But hilariously, the story of the game was Jim Harbaugh celebrating a bit too exuberantly, pissing off the apparently short-tempered Jim Schwartz and sparking a mini-brawl. And, this all may have started with Schwartz strangely taunting Harbaugh after the Niners coach threw a challenge flag on a scoring play and received a 15-yard penalty.
Green Bay cruised to a 24-3 victory over the hapless Rams as Aaron Rodgers threw another three TD passes, including a 93-yarder to Jordy Nelson.
The G-Men squeaked by the Bills 27-24 on three rushing TDs from Ahmad Bradshaw and a late Lawrence Tynes field goal.
Pittsburgh finally got their running game working as Rashard Mendenhall gave them 146 yards and a score to lead them to a 17-13 victory over Jacksonville. CHFF's Zachary Pierpoint breaks down the Steelers' performance.
Philly defeated Washington 20-13 as Shanny yanked Rex Grossman for John Beck after the pudgy QB was picked four times.
Baltimore beat the Texans 29-14 behind five FGs from Billy Cundiff.
New England scored the game-winning TD on a pass from Tom Brady to Aaron Hernandez with just 22 seconds to go as the Pats beat the Cowboys 20-16 in the shootout that turned out to be a game dominated by turnovers (six of them). After the game, Jerry Jones said that RB Tashard Choice is available via trade.
Tampa Bay beat the visiting Saints 26-20 thanks to two Josh Freeman TD passes, while Saints TE Jimmy Graham ran into Sean Payton on the sideline and broke the HC's knee and tibia, and tore his MCL. Incredibly, Payton continued coaching and calling plays the rest of the day - first on the sideline and then from the team's locker room.
Chicago walloped Minnesota 39-10 on the strength of two Devin Hester scores - a 48-yard reception and a 98-yard kick return, surprisingly the longest of his career. However, Hester left with a chest injury. Christmas Ape bids Donovan McNabb and his mom adieu.
Pat Kirwan, Andy Benoit, Brian Burke, Matt Bowen, Jonathan Comey, Nolan Nawrocki, Eric Edholm analyze the day's action, plus its most and least valuable players according to MJD. Kirwan thinks the Raiders should call Denver regarding Orton's availability if they can't first strike a deal with either David Garrard or Mark Bulger, but he figures the Broncos wouldn't want to send Orton to a rival. Wow, really? Why not? Because he's going to light us up or something? If The Crypt Keeper were still around, perhaps there'd be no chance of a Denver-Oakland trade, especially one of such significance. Actually, now that I think of it, there would be something twistedly funny about all of us having to watch Orton in the playoffs for the freaking Raiders...
Peter King, Mike Silver, Don Banks, John Clayton and Clark Judge wrap up Sunday's games. Clayton thinks that the Rams' decision to inactivate Mike Sims-Walker for yesterday's game suggests they'll make a play for Brandon Lloyd, and Clayton suggests that St. Loo should give up a third- or fourth-rounder to do so. Banks agrees, writing that the Rams should do whatever it takes to reunite Lloyd with Josh McDaniels.
Meanwhile, Ernie Accorsi told PK that Andrew Luck is in the same class of prospects as was John Elway, and that three first-round picks including a top-10 choice in 2012 would be an appropriate price for the top overall pick. Plus, King thinks the compensatory pick the Broncos (or any other team they trade him to) would receive for the free agency loss of Brandon Lloyd would be a fifth-rounder. So, unless Denver gets a higher pick than that, all they'll be doing is saving about a million bucks if they ship him off.
Among PFW's latest Insider quotes, one coach/evaluator says teams would never tank it, even for a player of Andrew Luck's caliber.
In honor of Schwartz/Harbaugh, Doug Farrar revisits some of the more entertaining coach confrontations from over the years, including McDaniels and Handshake Haley, of course.
Christmas Ape revisits the most entertaining moments from yesterday, including LeSean McCoy punching the biggest target available to him while celebrating a TD.
Frighteningly, a high-school player in upstate NY died of a cerebral hemorrhage just hours after a routing goal-line play.