The Broncos' executive vice president of football operations fully grasps that, while the trade market for quarterbacks might not necessarily be robust, it should be reasonably hot for at least a couple of players at the position.
Chat wrap: Trading Orton is risky
The biggest difference between them is that there is more clarity to Kolb's situation. For now, he is destined to begin his fifth NFL season as backup to Michael Vick. Kolb, who vanished after he suffered a concussion midway through the season opener last year, wants to follow through on the chance to become a starter, and Eagles are prepared to grant him that wish through a trade.
On the other hand, the Broncos could very well go with Orton as their starter because, entering his sixth season, he is presumably better prepared to fill the role than second-year man Tim Tebow. Orton certainly would have the edge if the lockout severely limited preparation for the regular season, but the Broncos also could choose to make Tebow their starter and ship Orton to one of several teams that either didn't address its quarterback need in the draft, or did but wants to add another with experience.
Elway won't commit either way, and the reason is obvious: He wants to create as much of a market as possible for Orton by giving the impression that he still holds value to the Broncos as a potential starter. The moment Elway or Broncos coach John Fox publicly says that Tebow is absolutely their guy is the moment whatever draft-pick compensation there might be for Orton will plummet.
That being said, Tebow is their guy, and Orton is likely headed elsewhere.