Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that the new guy won’t supplant the holdover; per Klis, Orton will start.
Though Orton’s status could change, the decision makes sense, for a couple of reasons. First, Orton is a restricted free agent, tendered at the first-round level. His base salary is $2.62 million, nearly four times greater than Quinn’s $700,000 compensation.
Then there’s the fact that Quinn will unlock $5.9 million in 2011 escalators if he takes 70 percent or more of the snaps on offense this season. By making him the backup, the Broncos are guaranteed to get two seasons out of him at a total payout of a paltry, relatively speaking, $1.4 million.
For the Browns, the move closes the books on one of the worst recent trades since the Cowboys pillaged the Vikings in exchange for Herschel Walker more than 20 years ago. Cleveland gave up a high second-round pick in 2007 and a first-round pick in 2008 for the ability to pick Quinn. To the extent that anyone is still interested in trading for Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, that price tag should be kept in mind.