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Monday NFL Notes

Kyle Orton is reportedly ahead of and playing better than Tim Tebow in Denver.

Orton reportedly received all of the first-team work Monday. That's a somewhat baffling turn of events given not only the widespread reports of Orton getting shopped, but coach John Fox's previous comments that camp would feature an open competition between Orton, Tebow and Brady Quinn. Giving all the first-team reps to one player implies no competition is underway, however.

I'm personally a bit puzzled by this development. Orton is a decent quarterback for sure, but I think Tebow was too good last year to not get at least as many first-team reps as Orton. And really, if Orton was so clearly the best option for the team, why were they reportedly trying to trade him for a draft pick that wasn't a first-rounder?

Anyway, if Denver sticks with Orton, I think it makes for one of the bigger fantasy football disappointments heading into this year. Orton was good under Josh McDaniels, but he's not going to find such a fantasy-friendly scheme under Fox's watch. Tebow would run for double-digit touchdowns if he were to start 16 games, I think.

Randy Moss retired

Unable to find a big role and big check alike, Moss decides to walk away for the time being.

An in-season injury can always make the offers get bigger, but it doesn't seem like Moss is the type of guy who would stay in top shape if he's not with a team. If he doesn't sign somewhere soon, he really might be done.

A.J. Green is impressing in Cincinnati

Green's impressiveness is not surprising, but coach Marvin Lewis implied that he's already an upgrade over Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco.

Green is in the Calvin Johnson tier of receiver prospects, though the two players have different games. Still, I was initially a bit skeptical of Green's fantasy value for this year, mostly because I was worried about what Andy Dalton would mean for the Cincinnati offense, and Bruce Gradkowski probably isn't much better. The idea of sharing the field with Jerome Simpson, Andre Caldwell, Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham didn't help, either. I'm increasingly feeling as if I underestimated Green's value at this point, however.

Besides it being possible that Green is simply a rare talent who will produce regardless of his surrounding conditions, I think the dropoff from Johnathan Joseph to Nate Clements may be significant for the team's defense. Between turnovers by Cincy quarterbacks and a questionable defense, the result should be an offense in catch-up mode most of the time. If Green's the clear top option in that catch-up effort, he could make a significant impact.

Ahmad Bradshaw returned to the Giants

Despite getting a look from the Redskins, Bengals and Dolphins, Bradshaw seemed to strike up surprisingly little interest in each case.

Once those teams walked away, it seemed like a lock that Bradshaw would return to the Giants. Bradshaw obviously was quite good last year, but I think last year (1,549 yards and eight touchdowns from scrimmage on 323 touches) was a best-case scenario for him.

Between injury worries and the resurgence of Brandon Jacobs (increased YPC from 3.7 to a career-high 5.6 between 2009 and 2010), I think he'll have less of a hold over the 2011 offense. After averaging 16.5 carries per game from 2007 to 2009, Jacobs' workload dropped to 9.2 carries per last year. I'm betting his carries go up significantly this year.

The Panthers signed Derek Anderson

That means they likely head into the season with Cam Newton, Jimmy Clausen and Anderson as the roster's quarterbacks.

He won't necessarily be well prepared for it, but Clausen and Anderson equals at least 10 starts for Newton, I think. There might not have been a more painful pair of quarterbacks to watch last year than Clausen and Anderson. Newton's running ability alone should exceed the overall usefulness of his competition.

The Seahawks are making a push for Zach Miller (OAK)

The Raiders just coughed up $48 million over five years for Kamerion Wimbley, so it's tough to imagine anyone being willing to outbid them for Miller.

Also, John Carlson is a good tight end prospect. His lack of numbers is probably due more to how he's used than anything. Putting Miller in the same role that Carlson has had would be a waste of the big money it'll take to get Miller under contract.

Frank Gore ended his holdout

It never seemed like the most credible threat. The new CBA makes holdouts more costly for players than in past years.

Gore will get all the work he can handle this year. Harbaugh's offense at Stanford seems to hint at a Norv Turner-like system in the NFL--a run and playaction-heavy system. His past injury issues mean no one should be surprised if Kendall Hunter gets a good amount of carries over a few games.