Sometimes, you come across a story that seems so unimaginable that your heart skips a beat, you get goosebumps and you immediately lose your appetite. This is one of those stories.

From Chris Mortensen on ESPN Radio via ProFootballTalk:

“I can tell you unequivocally that if you talk to John Elway and John Fox,” Mortensen said, “they will tell you emphatically that Brady Quinn is absolutely in the mix in terms of the competition for the starting job. They are not handing it to Tim Tebow. They are not handing it to Kyle Orton. They may have a depth chart to start out, but I know in communicating and speaking to both men that Brady Quinn is not forgotten.”

They will tell you emphatically. Of course that’s what they’ll do — they don’t want to simply give up on the former college star, the guy who the previous Denver regime traded current Madden cover boy Peyton Hillis for. The Broncos will obviously do everything possible to light a fire under Quinn while his career is still distantly salvageable.

But realistically, the horribly inaccurate Quinn has no chance to win the Week 1 starting job. He’d have to completely revitalize his game and Tebow would have to fall pretty hard. In my mind, Tebow will start so long as he’s healthy.

I don’t think this is about increasing Quinn’s trade value, because he currently has no trade value, and stating that he has a shot at the starting job doesn’t change things enough to make him a trade-worthy commodity.

No, with Kyle Orton likely to be traded, the Broncos want to know that Quinn can perform at a respectable level if Tebow goes down or the excrement hits the fan at some point down the line. This is a subtle message.