Now that trading Kyle Orton has proved easier said than done, the Denver Broncos are back to their original problem, only more so.
Do they want to win now or are they playing for the future?
"This happened my last year in San Francisco in 2005," wide receiver Brandon Lloyd told Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter.
"We've got Tim Rattay, who can play in this league and deliver the ball, and they get rid of him to play Alex Smith, the guy we drafted No. 1 overall that year. As a veteran you say, 'You're just going to (bleep) on our season to develop for the future?' It makes you mad. Me, I want to win now.
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"Keeping Orton as the starter means we're trying to win now. Going with Tim Tebow is a developmental move. Would that (tick) me off? Yeah, it would. But at the same time I'm a competitor, so I'm going to try to make it work."
Only one problem: A team coming off a 4-12 season needs to generate as much fan enthusiasm as it can, and the Broncos' fan base is clearly more energized by Tebow.
A week ago, the Broncos seemed more than willing to go that way. If you believe club brass, the proposed trade of Orton to Miami fell through because Orton and the Dolphins couldn't agree on a restructured contract.
Instead, the deal fell through and Orton is back, outplaying Tebow by a wide margin in training camp. To go to Tebow now would threaten the credibility of the club's new management, which has promised a fair and open competition among Orton, Tebow and Brady Quinn.
Tebow's many fans respond that the Broncos know what they have in Orton, that it's OK but nothing special, and they should find out what they have in Tebow by giving him a chance to play.
Orton's defenders, including at least some of his teammates, believe it was lack of defense and a subpar running game that left the Broncos with a 4-12 record last season, not poor quarterback play. Put a better team around him and Orton gives the Broncos their best chance to win, they say.
This raises a question that nobody associated with the team has any interest in entertaining: Just how many games do the Broncos actually want to win this year? Both traditional competitiveness and new coach John Fox's turnaround history would say as many as possible.
On the other hand, before he became the team's top football executive, John Elway was effusive in his praise of Andrew Luck, who just happens to play quarterback for Elway's alma mater, Stanford. Luck figures to be the top pick in next year's draft, so this year's worst team should get him.
Maybe it would it be better in the long run, if you'll pardon the irresistible rhyme, to suck for Luck? Will it really matter if the Broncos win seven games or three?
Football Outsiders, a website that developed advanced statistics to judge teams and players, says Orton's numbers make him most comparable to Drew Bledsoe, another largely immobile quarterback with a good arm.
Based on his three starts as a rookie, it says Tebow is most similar to Vince Evans, an athletic quarterback who enjoyed a 15-year NFL career with the Bears and Raiders, mostly as a backup.
These are sobering comparisons that suggest the current controversy is a lot of sound and fury signifying not that much.