As the Tim Tebow era begins (quite nicely, if you ask me), there is one question regarding a Broncos quarterback that isn't being asked very much: what will happen to Kyle Orton? There has been speculation in recent weeks (much of which has stopped once we all got what we wanted), so after the jump is a look at the possibilites.
Option 1: Broncos retain Orton as backup
With Tebow's style of play comes the added risk of injury, so it may be smart to keep somebody who has been a decent starter in the league as his backup. If this is the case, Orton shouldn't last more than a year, as the team probably wouldn't have much of a reason to re-sign him.
Orton 2: Orton is traded
This would appear to be a very likely possibility, and probably what the majority of us fans would like to see so we can at least get something for him. His current trade value is a bit of a question mark, but it is probably in the neighborhood of a 4th or 5th round pick. Here are some of the teams that may be interested in aquiring Orton:
Minnesota Vikings: With Brett Favre likely done for good (at least as a Viking), they are in need of a quarterback, especially if their new regime doesn't feel like Tarvaris Jackson or Joe Webb is the future. If Orton does end up here, he'd have one of the best running backs in the league, good receivers, and a solid defense to take pressure off of him. Plus, he'd have two chances to get back at the Bears each year.
Arizona Cardinals: There is nobody on their roster who is more than a project at this point in time, so Orton would (probably) be an immediate improvement for them. Not that he impressed them recently...
San Francisco 49ers: With two players who don't quite cut it as starting quarterbacks and a potential coaching change, the '9ers are probably in the market for a new QB. If Orton ended up here, he may have a shot at the playoffs just because the division is so bad and there is some developing talent in San Fran.
Seattle Seahawks: Ok, so the Rams are pretty much the only team in the NFC West who couldn't have interest in Orton. Matt Hasselbeck just isn't the same player he used to be, and you have to think his time as a starter is just about up. If they aren't convinced by Charlie Whitehurst at this point in time, Orton would probably be on their radar.
Miami Dolphins: It appears as if Chad Henne has been unable to take the opportunity presented to him by the Dolphins, and they will be in the market for a new quarterback this offseason. If this happened, Orton would have a chance to reunite with Brandon Marshall.
Tennessee Titans: The Vince Young era may be over, though he may stick around if Jeff Fischer is gone. The Titans may not want Orton after his comments earlier this season, so this doesn't seem likely at all.
Washington Redskins: With the Donovan McNabb experiment over, Shanny may look to his former employer for a new quarterback. But would be more likely to come in the form of trading the house to move up and draft Andrew Luck than trade for Orton, who doesn't posses the Elway-esque qualities that Shannahan desires.
Buffalo Bills: This would just be punishment. Not only would Orton end up on a team that is consistently one of the worst in the league, but there would be the uncertainty of whether the team would stay in Buffalo, and he'd probably have to compete with Ryan Fitzpatrick. I'd feel so sorry for him if he ended up there.
Option 3: Orton is cut
If the Broncos can't find anybody willing the pay what they want for Orton and decide the new regime just wants to move on for good, he could be flat out cut. This is the least likely option.