The Kyle Orton trade situation is a stare-down.
The Dolphins and the Denver Broncos both want to complete a trade involving the quarterback but have been unable to do so for reasons that apparently include compensation. There are reports the Broncos and Dolphins have not been able to get together on trade compensation, with the Broncos obviously asking higher compensation than the Dolphins are willing to pay. There is at least one report saying the Dolphins and the Orton camp has not been able to agree to a restructured contract.
And the in the meantime, Orton was on the field and took first-team reps with the Broncos today as their training camp got underway.
As I tweeted earlier, that has to feel awkward!
It would also feel awkward if Friday comes around, the Dolphins are on the field the first time for their opening of 2011 camp, and quarterback Chad Henne is taking first-team snaps while everyone knows the Dolphins are aggressively trying to replace him.
But, if the NFL calendar is to be believed, awkward might be the order of the day in this stare down at least until Aug. 4 -- a full week from today. The official calendar is here.
According to the NFL calendar, teams don't have to be at or below the 2011 salary cap until 4:01 p.m. (east coast time). That is the first day of the new league year.
That is also midnight in the Kyle Orton saga.
Well, one of the reasons the Broncos have put Orton on the trade block is to clear cap space. The Denver Post has reported the Broncos have nearly $128 million in salary cap commitments for 2011. That's bad considering the cap is $120.3 million. Orton counts a whopping $8.9 million of that.
That's not a problem today because the Broncos don't have to be under the cap right now. That is a problem starting Aug. 4 when the team must be at or under the cap.
The problem would be solved if the Broncos intended to keep Orton as their so-called quarterback of the future. They would simply give him a new multi-year contract that is more cap friendly. But they are clearly not doing that. They are not going to add years to the final year of his contract.
So they have to trade him or simply cut him by Aug. 4.
The Dolphins know this. So they are doing the wise thing. They are being patient. It is the wise thing to do in order not to mortgage the future by giving up a higher draft pick, assuming that's the holdup.
And if that makes the situation feel awkward in the meantime? So be it.
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