July 29, 02011
It is much more likely than it was yesterday that Kyle Orton is staying in Denver. As of 4 pm et today, his $1.5 million roster bonus activated, meaning that the Broncos cannot escape that obligation. No team in the NFL takes an amount like $1.5 million lightly, so it is unlikely -- though not impossible -- that Orton will be traded after today's bonus deadline.
Should the Dolphins or any other team acquire Orton now, they would be on the hook for his $7.3 million in salary but not for the bonus. It remains to be seen whether trade talks will still ensue.
Orton's bonus activation is a product of a key but little-noticed term in the new agreement between the NFL and its Players: Roster & Option bonuses which were to be earned during the period of the lockout, amended to be earned if on the roster at 4:00 pm on July 29th. That time has now passed.