Sources: Tebow, Broncos negotiating
According to one source, progress has been made and the deal should happen in the next 24 to 48 hours.
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Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels called Tebow when the quarterback failed to sign in time for the official beginning of training camp, which began with a meeting Wednesday morning.
The full team doesn't take the field until Sunday but quarterbacks Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn are participating. McDaniels reminded Tebow that he is losing repetitions that he can never regain and needs them more than the veteran players against whom he will be competing.
McDaniels said he wasn't worried that Tebow's absence would turn into a protracted holdout but noted that he's already fallen behind.
"We went through 60 pages this morning in an installation meeting. Those pages are filled with information," McDaniels said. "It's not that we're not going to go back and review that, we will."
It's just that he'll have to do some playbook cramming to do along with his regular workload.
Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, who has signed and is in camp, was picked immediately before Tebow. While that has helped create contract parameters, Tebow's agent, Jimmy Sexton, is believed to be seeking the customary quarterback premium that would pay his client more than a player taken before him.
Tebow was the second quarterback drafted and is apparently seeking more guaranteed money in a signing bonus.
Orton can't wait for rookie Tebow to sign his contract and help shoulder the load at the Broncos' training camp.
Not necessarily to split the snaps or siphon the media attention.
Orton has other things in mind for the first-round draft pick who is generating the kind of buzz in Denver that John Elway did as a rookie in 1983.
"Oh, that would fine," Orton said when asked after Wednesday's workout if he'd like to see Tebow in camp. "I've got these pads on. I need somebody to take them in for me."
Maybe it was good-natured rookie ribbing or perhaps it was a reference to the brouhaha at Cowboys camp where Bryant insists he was unaware of the rookie ritual of carrying veteran shoulder pads after practice and refused to accommodate Roy Williams' request.
But it also showed quite clearly that Orton still considers himself the alpha dog at Dove Valley.
Orton wanted a long-term extension this offseason like the one fellow restricted free agent Elvis Dumervil signed last week. Instead, he got Quinn coming over in a trade and Tebow arriving via the draft after what many consider the greatest career in college football history.
Orton, who signed a $2.621 million tender this spring, enters camp as the starter but that could change.
He split snaps with Quinn on Wednesday when the unsigned Tebow missed the first day of workouts for rookies, selected veterans and players coming off injuries.
The 25th overall pick in the draft after winning two national titles and the Heisman Trophy at Florida, Tebow said last month that he didn't want to miss a single pro practice. But he can't show up without his signature on a contract.
So, he stayed away while his agent, Jimmy Sexton, and Broncos general manager Brian Xanders continued exchanging numbers. When finalized, Tebow is expected to get about $12 million over five years.
Also missing Wednesday's workout was unsigned receiver Demaryius Thomas from Georgia Tech, selected 22nd overall. He and Tebow won't be considered holdouts unless they still aren't signed when the full squad reports for practice Sunday.
Ed Werder is a reporter for ESPN. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.