Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mike Klis writes that Kyle Orton requested a trade following last season after correctly sensing the Broncos were leaning toward going with Tim Tebow. He also says the Dolphins and Orton were close to a renegotiated contract on Tuesday night before Miami got cold feet, and that the Broncos never submitted an offer to Miami as far as draft choice compensation goes. Klis writes that talks between the teams heated up again Wednesday but obviously failed, and he says the Broncos will not release Orton since they already paid him a $1.5M roster bonus and owe him $2.879M of his 2011 salary.
Meanwhile, let's take a peek in on the speculation out of South Florida: Jeff Darlington of the Herald tweeted last night that the "whole Orton situation still has a very weird vibe to it" and he told Rich Eisen that Matt Moore's first choice was to land in Denver - not Miami, where he signed yesterday. While Darlington is reluctant to be theorizing conspiracies, his thinking is presumably that Moore would come back to Denver as part of an Orton deal. Of course, that's a pretty wild scenario, but the main takeaway is that Darlington doesn't believe the Orton/Miami talk is dead, and as he wrote in his column today, the Dolphins are hoping both the Broncos and Orton lower their demands for the QB's services.
Meanwhile, Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel says the deal "is dead...for now...as it is presently constructed," and the compensation that would head back to Denver is a conditional third- or fourth-round pick (now we're getting into more realistic territory - a 2nd-rounder was always too rich). He also writes that Orton is demanding a contract similar to that given to Kevin Kolb by Arizona, although Hyde points out that Kolb's deal is in essence a two-year deal and in another column writes, "The Dolphins are praying Orton backs off his contract demands."
Legwold acknowledges the Moore-for-Orton talk but reminds us it's more a matter of Orton's contract demands.
This is kind of surprising, but Seattle only had to give Brandon Mebane a reported $25M over five years to stick around. Even more shocking are reports that only $5M of the deal is guaranteed. So, how did the Broncos lose out on Mebane? Either they didn't feel very strongly at all about the guy, or they don't plan to be anywhere near the cap limit, or they find another target more attractive. I suppose it could be a combination of all the above...
Meanwhile, Legwold on the unexpected re-signing of Ryan McBean; plus, he says the Broncos and others may be waiting for the Texans to release Amobi Okoye.
PFW's Alex Mayster writes that Denver's strategy all along has been to wait out the first wave of free agency (Ted was telling me this very same thing yesterday morning) so as to not overpay for players. Mayster also writes that the team doesn't expect to sign any of the bigger name DTs like Cullen Jenkins (or Mebane, obviously).
Von Miller's injury yesterday was just a bruise to his thigh, while Quinton Carter was carted off with heat stress.
Andrew Mason writes that Orton looked "crisp" yesterday if not as good as he did on Thursday, while Julius Thomas and Eddie Royal impressed, while Orlando Franklin and Rahim Moore both played with the first team.
Jason La Canfora says the Orton/Miami deal isn't dead.
As mentioned last night, Denver is interested in FB Vonta Leach.
Not that anyone is going to argue with him, but Champ Bailey says he's still an elite cornerback.
Sarah Kuta on the newest Broncos getting acquainted with each other.
Robert Ayers wants to wear #91, while Nate Irving would like #56, but Reebok is holding them hostage.
WR Matthew Willis is a competitor on the TV show American Ninja Warrior which begins tomorrow on G4.
Here's a podcast and partial transcription of Orton talking to The Drive guys on Thursday.
The Chiefs have signed former Ravens DT Kelly Gregg.
Nnamdi Asomugha wasn't kidding about taking less money - he ended up with $21M in guarantees as part of a $60M deal with the Eagles - both less than Kevin Kolb got. Matt Bowen, Jason Cole, Clark Judge react.
The Jets re-signed S Eric Smith.
Cincy re-signed FB Brian Leonard.
Cleveland added former Packers RB Brandon Jackson.
The Steelers cut Flozell Adams and re-signed Willie Colon and Jonathan Scott.
Tennessee added another dirty player to their roster, this time nut-grabbing DT Shaun Smith, ex of the Chiefs.
Green Bay released LB Brandon Chillar under questionable circumstances - he'd injured himself working out during the lockout.
Former Vikings DE Ray Edwards agreed to a deal with the Falcons.
Atlanta cut former first-rounders WR Michael Jenkins and DE Jamaal Anderson.
New Orleans is keeping Roman Harper.
Those wacky Glazers in Tampa gave a punter a 4-year, $19.5M deal.
20 of Khaled Elsayed's top 51 free agents remain unsigned, including Aubrayo Franklin and Cullen Jenkins.
MJD also points to some top names and figures Jenkins could land in Denver.
Greg Gabriel reacts to some of the bigger moves of recent days, writing that the Eagles robbed the Cardinals in the Kolb deal.
Jonathan Comey analyzes some of the free-agency movement.
Jason Whitlock doesn't see the logic in New England acquiring Al Haynesworth and Chad Johnson.
Jay Cutler and his ex-fiancee apparently fought like cats and dogs loudly enough for their neighbors to hear - she even accused him of faking his infamous knee injury. To no surprise, she also disapproved of how "rude and mean" Cutler was to their neighbors and people in general. Shane Bacon reacts.
In other ex-Broncos soap opera happenings, the charges against Brandon Marshall's wife have been dropped.