I like Kerry Collins, I do. I always have. Even when he played for Tennessee I never rooted against him personally like I might when the Colts play Ben Roethlisberger or any of the Pats defenders.
So when the Colts originally signed him, I was excited. Excited to have Collins as an emergency backup that is...
After 227 straight starts I admittedly became complacent and assumed that Peyton would play forever, or at least another 5 years. Thus the signing of Collins was a positive (I thought it meant the end of Curtis Painter) but not significant...
Now, I am not so thrilled by the signing. Don't get me wrong, Kerry Collins is a standup guy and consummate professional who has lead several winning teams. But, he is 370 years old played for 170 years and has more grey hairs than this guy.
Plus last month he was sitting on his couch spending more time with a fishing rod and a margarita (he seems like a margarita guy) than a Colts playbook (not that we are a particularly exotic team). Now suddenly he is in charge of one of the league's most explosive pass happy offensives and I am not sure he is the right veteran for the job.
Again, no offense to Mr. Collins, who I like and am glad to have holding a clipboard, but Peyton Manning threw more completions than Collins had attempts in 4 of the last 5 years and the Colts don't have a guy named Chris Johnson...
Enter Kyle Orton.
Until last night, Orton wasn't even on my veteran QB radar (unfortunately an overpriced Carson Palmer is the only other guy seemingly out there).
Then I watched the game and heard the boos and realized, Orton is the perfect short term fix for the Colts.
For those of you who didn't watch, Orton was booed mercilessly by a Broncos fan base even as he was leading a 4th quarter drive to tie the game against the hated Oakland Raiders. While John Fox and the players are behind him for now, the fan base is not. Denver is looking more like a 4-12 win team than a playoff team and as the losses mount, the pressure to start Tebow will grow. By the looks of it, the writing for Orton is already on the wall: it's time for him to leave Denver.
Unlike when benching other veteran quarterbacks when teams just bury them on the depth chart for the year before cutting them in the offseason, the Broncos have plenty of reasons to trade Orton.
The main reason is that Orton is an above average QB who had the misfortune sharing the same position as Tim Tebow. For whatever reason the fan's (everywhere not just Denver) bizarre love affair and hype of Tebow outweighs the statistics and leaves Orton in an awkward and unloved position.
Yet he is still a top 15 (probably higher) quarterback in the prime of his career and at only 28 years of age Orton is peaking in terms of maturity and decision making. Even better, he can make all the throws after playing in one of the league's most pass wacky offenses.
Orton is a free agent after this year, which only increases the Broncos' incentives to get value for him before he hits the open market. Therefore the timing and the fit couldn't be better. Denver is looking to hand the reigns to Tim Tebow and needs an excuse to push Orton aside. Orton could thrive in Indy and as a local Purdue product would be greeted with open arms.
Again, no offense to Collins but I am not sure he is able at this late stage in his career to lead this offense. If the Colts could offer a 4th (maybe a bit more) round pick for Orton, the Colts would have another, albeit lesser, gunslinger and still have Collins around as a backup (Oh and Painter would finally be cut!!!! hooray!)