Update below: We spent the summer expecting Kyle Orton to be traded to Miami. It didn't happen -- but now that he's been benched in favor of Tim Tebow, there are new rumors that KO may be headed to the dreaded Raiders. Could it happen by today's 4 p.m. Eastern deadline? Yes, but it's unlikely, and Al Davis's death is one reason.
The latest avalanche of rumors was started by The Sporting News, which published a piece on Sunday suggesting that Orton had requested a trade. That prompted a Twitter freakout by Broncos PR man Jim Saccomano. He tweeted:
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He quickly followed up with this:
Indeed, The Sporting News deleted its Orton tale -- but that hasn't squelched the rumblings, especially in regard to the Raiders, whose starting QB, Jason Campbell, is probably out for the season with a broken collarbone. Yesterday, Oakland coach Hue Jackson said, "If you're a quarterback out there and you want to come play for the Raiders, give us a call" -- the kind of comment that made plenty of football observers immediately think of Orton.
Have the Broncos done any dialing? The Denver Post suggests a more passive, waiting-by-the-phone approach -- yet Orton is hardly the only possible replacement for Campbell. Other prospects include David Garrard and perhaps even Carson Palmer, whose bargaining power with the Bengals has been severely diminished given the better-than-anticipated play of Andy Dalton.
Of course, if longtime Raiders owner Davis hadn't died earlier this month (he was laid to rest yesterday), the story might be different. He loved to do anything he could to stick it to the Broncos -- and the idea of continuing the Raiders comeback season with assistance from a Denver castoff would have put a fiendish grin on his face. Even if the price was higher than he liked, he might have paid it anyhow because of his taste for revenge served cold, hot or at any other temperature.
Now, however, the Raiders braintrust is likely to look at Orton as a bigger headache than he's worth. After all, he's only signed through the end of this season, and he's previously expressed his desire to be a team's starter, not a backup -- and Campbell will likely get the top job back as soon as he's healed.
So even though shipping out Orton would eliminate a huge distraction at the beginning of the Tebow experiment, don't expect him to go to Oakland -- despite how happy that would have made Al Davis.
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Update, 10:57 a.m. October 18: Suspicions confirmed: Moments ago, Sports Illustrated reported that the Raiders picked up Carson Palmer from the Bengals -- a smart move, and a better one, frankly, than dealing for Orton.
Not from the Broncos' perspective, though...
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More from our Sports archive: "Tim Tebow now Broncos starting quarterback: Are you excited, terrified or both? (VIDEOS)."