Broncos should happily keep Orton

I understand why the Denver Broncos have been so reluctant to trade Kyle Orton to Miami (or anywhere). With only three career starts under his belt, there’s no telling if Tim Tebow is the real deal or not, and Orton is an underrated quarterback.

The Broncos and Dolphins reportedly couldn’t agree on compensation for Orton, but starting-caliber quarterbacks aren’t easy to find. While picking up an extra second- or third-round pick would be nice, the Broncos are smart to take the stubborn route and let leverage control the outcome.

At some point in the near future, one of the other 31 NFL teams is going to become desperate for a quarterback. When that happens, they’ll look to Denver, and they’ll be more willing to part with what the Broncos are requesting.

The Dolphins obviously aren’t desperate enough at this point, which isn’t surprising considering their reputation as a team that doesn’t pull the trigger on impact players. Orton is significantly better than incumbent Miami starter Chad Henne and recent signing Matt Moore, and it’s not even close.

Before having to endure a season with a bad Broncos team in 2010, Orton had a 29-19 career win-loss record. Despite the team’s struggles last year, he passed for 3,653 yards while throwing 20 touchdown passes and just nine interceptions. He has a 71-to-48 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his career.

Chad Henne has tried and failed twice as the Phins’ starting pivot. He has more interceptions than touchdowns in his career and can’t seem to consistently throw accurate passes. And aside from a short run of success in 2008, Moore has been a good backup at best.

Apparently, the Dolphins are still interested in acquiring Orton. But the Broncos aren’t in a rush and hold the leverage. Until Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland realizes that, the two sides won’t be able to agree on compensation.

And it’ll be Miami’s loss.