Lost in all of our fan hoopla about the idea of these QBs competing to start was the inevitable fact that Tebow was not going to start. No chance, was never going to happen. And here's the factual contract data as to why:
Written into Tebow's contract is this qualifier "Tebow's contract DOUBLES from 11.25 million to 22.50 million if he plays 55% of the time in TWO of his first three seasons".
Meanwhile, Orton's contract this season? 9 Million, 6 million guaranteed. So, since no team would trade for Orton at franchise player money, and since Orton refused to renegotiate his contract, the only remaining option was to cut him and pay the 6 million. We weren't going to bench him and pay 9 million.
So, this was the dilemma, pay Orton millions and millions to not play AND double Tebow's contract, or keep Tebow on the bench and not hitting escalators while getting something for the 6 million you owe Orton no matter what.
And you have to wonder about Tebow's future here due to his contract. A contract signed before the rookie wage scale. If Tebow plays 70% of the snaps in 2013, his contract doubles to 22.5 million and if the team makes multiple playoffs under Tebow and he achieves leaguewide awards his contract triples to 33 million.
Meanwhile, the #1 overall selection this year, Cam Newton's contract? 4 Years, 22 million. Andrew Luck is looking at the same deal. And there are 3-4 other QBs likely to go in the Top 20 in the next draft for much cheaper deals in the strongest QB draft in quite some time.
And what about Brady Quinn you might ask? Well, if he plays 70% of our snaps, his contract goes from 700,000 to 6.6 million due to a 5.9 million escalator bonus.
Do you think this was a fair QB competition? Hell no. Orton was never not going to start. Not with Bowlen in a financial crises and unable to even make waiver claims because of financial concerns. Let alone not even being competitive on the open free agent market. We weren't going to pay Orton millions not to play.
We have this big Quinn versus Tebow versus Orton debate, and there probably was a true battle for the #2 spot (which we laughingly refused to name), but there was never a competition for the #1 spot. Finances dictated that. Period.
So if you wonder why Tebow or Quinn didn't play with the starters, or Orton with the 2nd team, this is why. The team knew what direction it was going months and months ago despite telling us it was a competition. Lying has been standard for the front office this offseason despite declarations of openness. Sure they tried to trade Orton's albatross of a contract, but no team was taking that unless Kyle re-negotiated and he made it clear he would not absent a pricy long term deal. Nobody in the NFL wants to give him that. And as for all the chatter about "Tebow being terrible", almost guaranteed it was planted by the front office to try and justify to fans why he wasn't given a chance to start.
Too bad for them the contract information was made public. A little research sure sheds some light on an awful lot of questions and confusing bait and switch comments by EFX.
Tebow contract info:
Orton contract info:
Brady Quinn contract info: