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Colts explored trading for Orton before season

Denver Broncos v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

Before the Colts convinced Kerry Collins to come out of retirement in August, the Colts kicked around the idea of acquiring another quarterback who suddenly has become available.

Per a league source, the Colts explored the possibility of trading for former Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton.

Orton, who was so close to being traded to the Dolphins that (we’re told) his plane tickets had been purchased, was waived on Tuesday by the Broncos.  And the 0-10 Colts have ultimate dibs on his rights between now and 4:00 p.m. ET.

According to the source, it’s highly unlikely that the Colts will make a claim for Orton now.

One of the primary reasons for reluctance is the Colts’ remaining cap space of $3.0 million.  With Orton due to receive $1.588 million in base pay over the balance of the season (contrary to the $2.5 million number that has been making the rounds), adding Orton would make it harder for the Colts to account for any other moves they may need to make.

That said, it’s impossible to rule out the possibility that the Colts simply don’t want to change anything, in the hopes of getting another quarterback in April.  From a pure football standpoint, Orton is better than any healthy quarterbacks the Colts currently have.  From a practical standpoint, no one in the organization will be inclined to articulate that goal, publicly or privately.

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27 Responses to “Colts explored trading for Orton before season”
  1. sullijo1 says: Nov 23, 2011 1:20 PM

    Man, what would the Broncos record be if they could have eliminated this guy from their roster before the season started?

    7-3, 8-2?

  2. trbowman says: Nov 23, 2011 1:20 PM

    The Colts are so pathetic, I almost feel bad for them.

  3. capslockkey says: Nov 23, 2011 1:21 PM

    Um, what “other moves” do the Colts need to make that are more important than a competent QB? Admit it Polian, you’re Sucking for Luck.

  4. marcuswelby70 says: Nov 23, 2011 1:24 PM

    Polian may be arrogant, but he is not stupid. Why would he want to put the team in a position to win enough games that would push them out of the Luck sweepstakes?

  5. j0esixpack says: Nov 23, 2011 1:29 PM

    Although he’ll never admit it I think Polian’s a smart enough GM to choose to take advantage of the lack of Peyton Manning and tank the season to get a franchise QB for the next 15 years by Sucking for Luck.

    The Colts had plenty of time to look for a better QB and effectively chose not to.

    While Orton might have given the fans a credible offense to watch, there’s little sense in trading the #1 pick in the draft for a mediocre season and a mediocre draft choice.

    We’ll find out if Goodell and other owners think this is what was going on if we see talk of a draft lottery gain traction.

  6. blaz0037 says: Nov 23, 2011 1:30 PM

    seems crazy to me that ANY Colts fan would want the team to draft Andrew Luck.

    so you wanna run Peyton out of town?

  7. trbowman says: Nov 23, 2011 1:33 PM

    Getting Orton wouldn’t cost the Colts the first pick. Have you seen Orton’s record? Since the Broncos 6-0 start two years ago, Orton has won just 4 games I believe. Maybe five, with a much better team than the Colts.

    Orton, however, is better than Curtis ‘I should have been a’ Painter and Dan the Man. You go 0-16, it’s a disaster. Be remembered as one of the worst teams ever. Orton helps you avoid that, at least.

  8. rexismybff says: Nov 23, 2011 1:37 PM

    Great cap management, Irsay! 0-10, and you’ve got no cap room. Imagine how far over the cap you would’ve had to have gone just to win a couple games!

    I guess we can look forward to a slew of stories in the offseason on how the Colts can’t afford both Manning and Luck?

  9. earthtopft says: Nov 23, 2011 1:41 PM

    Wow, now the Colts get Orton for free, and can eat the ham sandwich whenever they want to.

  10. dublindemonszfl says: Nov 23, 2011 1:41 PM

    Peyton plans to play for the packers in 2012. Rogers is all done.

  11. eaglebobby says: Nov 23, 2011 1:46 PM

    To me, if they don’t claim Orton to try to better things, the integrity of the game goes out the window. I can’t believe that Goodell would stand by and let the Colts tank the whole season so they could get the overall No.1 pick sothey could take their franchise QB.

  12. cclaser says: Nov 23, 2011 1:48 PM

    I don’t get why anyone would bang on the Colts for this… Orton couldn’t win with better talent in Denver. Nothing makes me think he would have made the Colts a winner either. Regardless of Peyton, the move is to draft a QB of the future. That could be Luck, Barkley, etc. but Orton is definitley not a move for the future.

    It would be truly ignorant for the Colts to make this move given their current position. Plus, the can raid practice squads for much less expensive positional needs.

  13. section24 says: Nov 23, 2011 2:09 PM

    “From a pure football standpoint, Orton is better than any healthy quarterbacks the Colts currently have.”

    And this opinion is based upon what football expertise? There is no evidence that Orton would be any better than any of the current Colt QBs if dropped into their system at this point of the season. They tried that experiement with Collins a few months ago, and we all know how that worked out.

  14. i3addog says: Nov 23, 2011 2:16 PM

    You know things are bad when you’re considering Orton. This is why Favre was able to hang on so long. There just isn’t enough guys who can play QB in the NFL.

    It’s like deciding who to vote for, who sucks less.

  15. cannonballdookie says: Nov 23, 2011 2:19 PM

    It’s not like the Colts even have a remote chance of making playoffs, so I don’t think they should claim him and waste the money. It would be frowned upon in certain circles, but the best thing for them to do right now is take their lumps and get the first pick.

    I think one horrible season after 10 great ones should be bearable, and they may have another 10-15 good seasons with Luck at quarterback.

  16. snarkzilla says: Nov 23, 2011 2:24 PM

    “Suck for luck” is a fantasy made up by people who don’t and have never played pro football. There isn’t a single player in the league who would jeopardize his future by playing crappy on purpose so his team can draft a college kid.

  17. snarkzilla says: Nov 23, 2011 2:25 PM

    But I wouldn’t put it past Irsay and Polian to not pick up someone who could help.

  18. terripet says: Nov 23, 2011 2:27 PM

    trbowman, what are you talking about the colts have 1 losing seasong in 10 years and your all over them. ask the browns if they wish they were the colts.

  19. randylaheytpb says: Nov 23, 2011 2:39 PM

    I’ve liked the Colts teams of the last decade. Fun to watch. Any football fan has got to respect the hell out of Peyton Manning.

    But they do not deserve Andrew Luck in the same way that, as this season has shown, they do not deserve Peyton Manning.

    Their front office is a joke. Their team is awful in every regard beyond #18. This season has proved it.

    Worse yet, drafting luck will likely end Manning’s career early, even if he does sit behind him for a few years.

    18 deserves better than this garbage organization. So does Andrew Luck.

    But even if they did get the #1 pick, they still should have a few good years with Manning at QB. Trade the pick to a retarded organization like the Raiders and get about a dozen in return to build a defense, offensive line, and maybe even give Manning someone reliable to hand the ball off to.

  20. klutch14u says: Nov 23, 2011 2:43 PM

    I will say it (type it) again, if the Colts done claim him they are letting it be known they are tanking the season on purpose for the Luck sweepstakes.

  21. juliusanonymous says: Nov 23, 2011 2:47 PM

    The Colts are obviously trying to lose games to acquire Luck. It doesn’t matter that the players won’t choke on purpose.

    When your team looks that bad and that unprepared, and you keep your coach and front office in place and you refuse to bring in anyone who could help you on offense, that to me is OBVIOUS. The Colts players may not be choking on purpose, but the front office is and it’s obvious. They’ve gone WAY out of their way to avoid doing anything to help the team win.

    As to fans who doubt it, ask yourself this: if Irsay’s life, or the life of a loved one, depended on the Colts winning at least 2 games this season, do you still honestly believe he would pass on Orton? If you say yes, you’re lying to yourself.

  22. mjkelly77 says: Nov 23, 2011 2:51 PM

    The only reason the Colts won’t make ANY Move to Improve is because they want to Suck for Luck.

  23. megaroad1 says: Nov 23, 2011 2:53 PM

    I never again want to read a so called analyst saying that football is too competitive for teams to lose on purpose, if the Colts refuse to sign a QB that could help them win one or 2 games. Between that and the continuing employment of Caldwell, the Colts brass would be embarrassing the league.

    Look at the difference with Miami, now there’s a team with some self respect that refused to suck for some guy who has never even taken a snap in the pro game.

    Next year they should have the top 3 teams have a lottery for the top pick to avoid this kind of situation.

  24. mongobo says: Nov 23, 2011 3:35 PM

    If I believed this Colts team was a not very good quarterback away from winning football games, I’d be outraged to see them not put in a claim on Orton. However, the truth of the matter is that this team is at least a great quarterback away from competing. They need a magic man to build a lead big enough for the defense to be able to live off the pass rush. It’s how the Colts have been built. Wishing for the rest of the team to be able to play a different style of football won’t change that…

    Orton’s no magic man, and throwing $1.6 million out the window isn’t a smart business decision. The Colts have already tried this with Collins, and the results were abysmal. Finish the season with what you have, and then get to work on building a 2012 team that doesn’t need one singular talent to succeed.

  25. rarson says: Nov 23, 2011 4:02 PM

    I posted this on a different story, but it bears repeating since apparently few people bother to think before they imagine ridiculous scenarios.

    The decision to pass on Orton has nothing to do with “Suck for Luck”, primarily because nobody (including the Colts) is stupid enough to purposefully suck for a chance to use a first-round pick on a guy that might not even enter the draft next year and could choose to play for a different team even IF he did.

    The Colts are passing on Orton because HE sucks. Or at least he has with Denver thus far this year. If he can’t win with Denver (and Tebow can), what makes anyone think that it’s a sane idea for Indianapolis to make a move for him?

  26. yevrag3535 says: Nov 23, 2011 4:17 PM

    Sorry, don’t believe you. Why do you say that now? Come on, all lawyer talk.

  27. jasonfinfan says: Nov 23, 2011 11:50 PM

    rarson, you are an ignorant Person.. First off, No Quarterback in the League can be as bad as Curtis Painter.. Look at the stats if you want for Orton and Painter..

    Secondly Luck is forced to play for the team who drafted him unless he wants to retire from Football. I would love to see him do this after the colts spend their pick on him just to hear your reaction.

    third if this is all the colts are capable of,, well the colts deserve to be bumped down to the CFL in Canada. What do they do to college football teams that go winless for the year?? They kick their asses down to a lower conference

    Thumbs up to Banish the colts from the NFL for rigging football games.. Vegas is going to have to start making -28 point lines for teams facing the colts at this rate.

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