MIAMI ( – Throughout Wednesday, it appeared that it was only a matter of time before Kyle Orton joined the Miami Dolphins as the team’s new starting quarterback. But as the hours continued to pass into Thursday morning the deal stalled.

The Denver Broncos are asking for a second or third round pick in exchange for Orton. The Miami Dolphins are offering only a fourth or fifth round pick for Orton. That led to the stalemate that popped up overnight.

According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald’s Jeff Darlington, the trade is held up not just over compensation, but also over getting a contract completed with Orton.

Darlington reported the Dolphins have “some work to do with their own salary cap to be able to make Orton trade work.”

As Wednesday wore on, the teams needing a quarterback filled those needs with free agents. The only team left with a need at quarterback is the Arizona Cardinals, and they acquired Kevin Kolb from the Eagles.

The Broncos have to decide if they will take something for Orton, or have him sitting on their bench earning roughly $8.9 million in 2011. That salary will hamstring the Broncos, who have made it no secret that they want to move Orton quickly.

The Denver Post reported the Broncos are roughly $8 million over the salary cap and Orton counts roughly $8.9 million against the cap.

Obviously, moving Orton would put them under the cap immediately and let the Broncos make other moves. But, this is John Elway’s first major move with the Broncos and he’s going to drive a hard bargain.

According to the Post, due to the new CBA, teams can’t restructure contracts until 6:01 p.m. Thursday. The Post speculated that could be when the Orton to Dolphins deal is completed.

Thursday morning, Orton took to the field with the Broncos and took first-team snaps as the quarterback. Still, the Broncos will give the keys to the offense to Tim Tebow as soon as possible and continue a troubling trend at the quarterback position.

As the Denver Post pointed out, the Broncos traded Jake Plummer into retirement on year he took the team to the AFC Championship. They followed that up by trading Jay Cutler just months after a Pro Bowl season of 2008. Then, after Orton’s career season, they drafted Tim Tebow in the first round.

The stalemate remains at only a difference of one-round for the pick, and if the Broncos really want to trade Orton, eventually they’ll come around to the Dolphins price. Otherwise, Chad Henne will be the Fins’ starting quarterback in 2011.


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