Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb is considered the prize catch to be had once the NFL Lockout ends and teams can start making trades again. The four year-veteran is 26-years-old and has demonstrated some ability that he can lead a team on the field, but with Michael Vick's resurgence there Eagles are looking to move Kolb as a result. The Arizona Cardinals appear to be the front-runner for his services.
The Eagles would likely ask for at least a first-round pick in return, making it a risky gamble for whichever team winds up with him. And that's where the Denver Broncos' Kyle Orton enters into the equation. Orton, depending on the sources being reported, is either already on the way out or actually the preferred option to start the season under center. He's the runner-up in the Kolb sweepstakes, teams believe, and he could wind up going to less than what Kolb does.
However, recent reports have the Broncos possibly looking for a similar return on Orton. While that may elicit some laughs, ESPN Insider KC Joyner believes Orton is the best available quarterback out there,
Joyner believes that both the Broncos and the Chicago Bears have unfairly projected their team weaknesses on Orton, while they have ignored what he can do. The Bears didn't like that he won two-thirds of his games, and the Broncos, fairly or unfairly, have the John Elway pillar for every quarterback to live up to.
But Orton may be the best quarterback available if one looks at the numbers. Orton was in the top 10 for yards per attempt (YPA) and vertical YPA; Orton's 84.8 rating since 2008 is right behind the elite quarterbacks, including Tom Brady, Drew Brees and divisional rival Phillip Rivers. He's also been good at avoiding interceptions and his bad-decision rate is twice as good as Kolb's.
Is Kyle Orton an elite quarterback? No, but there are worse guys to have under center. For the Broncos, Tim Tebow now appears head to be viewed "through a John Elway prism," as Joyner coined it.