ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Kyle Orton's still a member of the Denver Broncos. For how long is anybody's guess.
The Broncos are shopping around to see if they can find a trade partner, and the Miami Dolphins might land the sixth-year quarterback if they work out a deal that lowers his cap hit this season and provides long-term security.
Orton is due $8.829 million this season and doesn't want to be a backup in Denver. While the Broncos have said Orton is their returning starter, the veteran QB apparently feels Tim Tebow's promotion is a foregone conclusion, as do some of his teammates.
Orton has started the last two seasons in Denver, posting career-best passing numbers to go with 41 TD throws and 21 interceptions. He gave way to Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner and national champion at Florida, for the final three games last year.
The first practice is Thursday morning.
Orton declined to comment to reporters as he left the facility about 1 p.m. and again when he returned three hours later for the team meeting.
After saying early on in the offseason that Orton was the incumbent, the Broncos' new front office football chief John Elway, general manager Brian Xanders and Fox haven't made any public comments about Orton's situation of late.
"Yeah, I didn't know what was going on," Lloyd said. "I didn't know all the rules and stuff, but there's obviously some logistical things about showing up to camp. Technically, he's still a member of the Denver Broncos football team, so it was normal after I saw him."
Lloyd and Orton made a great duo last season, but Lloyd has moved on, figuring it's Tebow's time now.
"I've been spending most of my brainpower in the offseason focusing on how to get Tebow better and what I can do to help him develop as a quarterback," said Lloyd, who spent a week with Tebow preparing for training camp.
"Kyle's going to be awesome, wherever he goes," Lloyd said. "There's a lot of vacancies in the NFL for really good quarterbacks, and Kyle's a really good quarterback, and he's going to be fine."
Actually, those vacancies are starting to fill up, whittling the list of potential landing spots for Orton, who has amassed 7,455 yards passing over the last two seasons but won just 11 of 29 starts.
Tebow went 1-2 as a rookie, completing 41 of 82 passes for 654 yards, five TDs and three interceptions with six sacks. He also rushed for 227 yards and six scores.
"I think Tim's ready," Lloyd said. "And I think it's going to put a lot of pressure on us veterans to make him better. That's what it comes down to."
Star pass-rusher Elvis Dumervil praised both quarterbacks.
"Man, I think both of those guys are good players. That's a decision the front office has to make. That's not really my area," he said. "Well, whoever the guy is we've got to rally around him because obviously he's the team captain being the quarterback."
Defensive captain Brian Dawkins said Tebow's trial run in 2010 showed he possessed "a lot of grit, a lot of determination, and he is as advertised as far as being a fiery guy."
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(This version CORRECTS Restores dropped figure in third paragraph to correct dollar amount from $8.29 million to $8.829 million)