Ever since the Denver Broncos traded several draft picks for quarterback Tim Tebow in April’s NFL draft, most of the attention paid to the team has focused on when Tebow would supplant incumbent starter Kyle Orton for the starting job and lead the Broncos back to the promised land.
But Tebow will have to wait a little longer than originally thought now that the Broncos have decided to give Orton another year on his contract, making him the team’s starter through 2011 (via The Denver Post).
“Considering the labor environment, I’m aware of how difficult it was to get this deal done and am extremely appreciative,” Orton (pictured) says in a statement to Pro Football Talk.
Orton is active in the NFL players’ union and knows there’s potential for a lockout in 2011, so he’s surely happy to have secured a guaranteed $7.6 million. The deal also gives him the confidence of being the team’s undisputed leader, while allowing the Broncos to develop Tebow as the heir apparent over the next two years.
But the deal is bad news for quarterback Brady Quinn, who came to town as the team’s backup but was probably hoping to take over the starting job eventually. Quinn didn’t look good in the team’s first preseason game last weekend, and he could easily be replaced as the team’s backup by Tebow before the 2010 season begins.