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Miami nice? Broncos QB Orton appears headed to Dolphins

There wasn't any official word on a new address for Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton on Wednesday, but several signs point to it being in Miami.

Sources close to the situation told NFL Network's Michelle Beisner, reporting from Denver, that a trade is very close to happening. Orton would compete with Chad Henne for the Dolphins' starting job.

Observations from Dolphins camp

NFL Network reporter

Scott Hanson checks in from South Florida with the latest on Brandon Marshall, Karlos Dansby and a possible trade for Broncos QB Kyle Orton. **More ...**

NFL Network's Albert Breer reports the Dolphins' pursuit of a trade for the Broncos quarterback might hinge on Miami's ability to renegotiate Orton's contract. Orton has a salary-cap figure of $8.4 million for 2011.

The Broncos put Orton on the trade block Tuesday, and they are unlikely to deal him for less than a third-round draft pick, league sources told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora. There is the possibility that the compensation will escalate based on Orton's performance and/or his new team signing him to an extended contract.

Orton is in the final year of his deal and has put up solid numbers in Denver after being a part of the Jay Cutler trade with the Chicago Bears in 2009, but apparently, new Broncos coach John Fox has decided to go with Tim Tebow, a first-round pick in 2010, as the starter.

Orton has made it clear that he doesn't want to back up Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner and national champion at Florida, who replaced Orton for the final three games last year.

Orton participated in Broncos player-led workouts during the lockout and, despite his hazy status, reported to Dove Valley on Wednesday for a physical and Fox's first team meeting.

The six-year veteran has started 28 games for the Broncos the past two seasons, passing for 41 touchdowns and almost 7,500 yards, along with 21 interceptions.

The Broncos' first practice is Thursday morning. Orton declined to comment to reporters as he left the facility Wednesday 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 the quarterback's situation of late.

Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, however, described Orton's presence at the facility Wednesday as awkward.

"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.

Tebow went 1-2 as a rookie, completing 41 of 82 passes for 654 yards and five touchdowns with 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."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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