Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Broncos planning to shop QB Orton

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Leslie Frazier Updated: July 26, 2011 - 8:53 AM

The Vikings are expected to be in the market for a veteran quarterback to provide some guidance for Christian Ponder and perhaps start ahead of him to begin the season.

Could that player be Kyle Orton?

Mike Klis of the Denver Post reported this morning that the Broncos are going to place Orton on the trading block. Trades were allowed to be made as of 9 this morning.

Writes Klis: Orton has made it clear that after posting the two best seasons of his pro career, throwing 41 touchdown passes against 21 interceptions for the Broncos, he doesn't want to serve as backup to the unproven Tim Tebow.

There was some speculation early this offseason that the Vikings might deal for Orton, but that was tied to the fact Minnesota interviewed former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels for its offensive coordinator's job. McDaniels ended up going to St. Louis and the Vikings hired Bill Musgrave.

Coach Leslie Frazier hasn't been willing to commit to whether the Vikings will pursue a veteran quarterback but it would make sense given that Ponder has missed the entire offseason program because of the NFL lockout. Asking him to start on Sept. 11 at San Diego would be a tall order.

But the Vikings need to be careful because they want to develop Ponder as soon as possible and getting a veteran who has little interest in helping a rookie wouldn't be a wise move. If Orton doesn't want to play behind Tebow, then he isn't going to want to play behind Ponder, so it could be uncomfortable if at some point this season Frazier decided he wanted to make a switch from the veteran to the rookie.

This is going to be a crazy day in the NFL as teams are allowed to begin talking to free agents this morning, as well as signing drafted and undrafted free agents. Veterans can't sign until Friday but there should be plenty of deals in place by the end of the day.



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