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Colts explored trading for Orton before season

Denver Broncos v Tennessee Titans

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 25: Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos signals to his receivers against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on September 25, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Broncos 17 - 14. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

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Before the Colts convinced Kerry Collins to come out of retirement in August, the Colts kicked around the idea of acquiring another quarterback who suddenly has become available.

Per a league source, the Colts explored the possibility of trading for former Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton.

Orton, who was so close to being traded to the Dolphins that (we’re told) his plane tickets had been purchased, was waived on Tuesday by the Broncos. And the 0-10 Colts have ultimate dibs on his rights between now and 4:00 p.m. ET.

According to the source, it’s highly unlikely that the Colts will make a claim for Orton now.

One of the primary reasons for reluctance is the Colts’ remaining cap space of $3.0 million. With Orton due to receive $1.588 million in base pay over the balance of the season (contrary to the $2.5 million number that has been making the rounds), adding Orton would make it harder for the Colts to account for any other moves they may need to make.

That said, it’s impossible to rule out the possibility that the Colts simply don’t want to change anything, in the hopes of getting another quarterback in April. From a pure football standpoint, Orton is better than any healthy quarterbacks the Colts currently have. From a practical standpoint, no one in the organization will be inclined to articulate that goal, publicly or privately.