The trade melodrama over quarterback Kyle Orton ain't over yet. The Miami Dolphins remain the most likely Orton destination, despite safety-net interest from the Arizona Cardinals -- and the pressure to get a deal done is ratcheting higher, in part because of issues involving contracts and cost.
ESPN's Bill Williamson notes that Orton is a free agent after the 2011-2012 season, and the Dolphins would be unlikely to trade Denver a high-round draft choice for his services (Williamson mentions a third-rounder, while other sources talk about a second-round pick) if he could bolt the following year.
No wonder Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith thinks a hold-up in the deal may be less about the draft pick in question than renegotiating Orton's contract. Given that the new collective bargaining agreement is already causing teams to jettison players left and right to get under the cap, KO may be in the position of taking a pay cut in order to change addresses.
My guess: He'd be willing to do it. He's now in training camp, and the Denver Post's Sarah Kuta thinks he looks more polished than does his likely successor, Tim Tebow. But everyone agrees the situation is awkward, and ESPN's Williamson argues that the longer Orton is taking snaps with the first-team offense, the less opportunity Tebow will have to develop. And this scenario would only become uglier if Orton winds up in predominantly orange for the long haul.
"Make a decision, Denver, and move on," Williamson writes. And that's good advice.
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More from our Sports archive: "Kyle Orton's price tag on the rise: Will Dolphins, Cardinals, Seahawks, Vikings pony up?"