Kyle Orton Potentially Retiring; Bears InterestedBy: Brian Powell - August 4, 2014
When Kyle Orton was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 106th pick of the fourth round in 2005, it was safe to say that no one expected anything spectacular from the former Boilermaker. At the time of his signing, Rex Grossman was the Bears quarterback and no one dreamed that the rookie quarterback would see any playing time in his first year. However, after a preseason injury to Grossman, Orton found himself in the starting role for the Bears, leading an NFL team perhaps much too soon.
Since that time, Orton has experienced a middling amount of success. With the only success Orton has experienced being a 2006 NFC Championship (a season during which he never saw any playing time), his name has consistently slid from the ranks of top-tier, or even wanted, quarterbacks, with his most recent action being his release from the Dallas Cowboys for failing to report to training camp.
Despite this lack of success, Bears General Manager Phil Emery still holds out hope that Orton could be a successful, contributing member in the NFL community.
I have great respect for Kyle. When I was in Kansas City, we brought him in. That’s the famous claim the Bears figured they would get [in 2011]. We claimed him. He came in. He started against the Bears; got hurt first or second play. At the time in Kansas City, we won the game. The next week, he starts against Green Bay, an undefeated Green Bay team [which] had the longest winning streak in football at that point. [He] beat them; beat them in Kansas City. Great leadership skills, guys really like playing for him, big arm. So the skill set is there. But as far as where he’s going in his career… that we don’t know.
“[There’s] a lot of rumors in terms of him retiring. I certainly know that if he had an interest in playing, that would be out in the league. We’re extremely excited about Jay [Cutler], and we’re extremely excited about the competition we have for the backups. If we see a player at quarterback or any other position that can help us, we’ll certainly take a look,” stated Emery.
While there are those who would question the decision to bring Orton in as a backup quarterback, Bears fans have to face reality. The two current backup options are Jimmy Clausen and Jordan Palmer, neither of which have had any success in the NFL at all, much less any real playing time. The addition of Orton could add an experienced, knowledgeable player to the Bears offense – something the team desperately needs.
But, then again, if $3.5 million per year wasn’t enough to pique Orton’s interest in being a backup quarterback with the Cowboys, the Bears aren’t likely to have the resources to lure Orton to Chicago anytime soon.
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