Best Fits for Free-Agent Quarterback Kyle Orton
The Dallas Cowboys released Kyle Orton, making the veteran quarterback a free agent. Despite already being in a good situation, Orton is now looking at whether or not he wants to retire or find a better situation.
The Cowboys have already moved on with Brandon Weeden as the presumptive backup behind Tony Romo, but there are teams without a clear option behind their starter, and those teams could be looking at Orton as a possibility.
To make this list, a team would need to have a questionable backup quarterback situation and be able to use Orton's talents well with what it already has.
Ironically, the Cowboys are one of the best fits for Orton, but that is no longer an option. Perhaps one of these teams would look like a better destination to him, though.
3. New Orleans Saints
Suffice it to say, if Orton signed with the Saints, he would be riding the bench. Should anything happen to Brees, though, who would be a better fit, Luke McCown or Orton?
To me, Orton is a better option for spreading the ball around and using what he has around him. He won't put up record-breaking numbers like Brees, but with the offense the Saints have, Orton would be able to hold his own.
More importantly, the Saints wouldn't have to worry about giving up on the season if Brees were to be out of the lineup.
2. Buffalo Bills
Not only does Buffalo have its quarterback of the future in EJ Manuel, but it also has a capable backup in Thad Lewis.
Why do I have Buffalo on the list then?
Having watched Buffalo with and without EJ Manuel last season, it felt like two different teams on the field. Orton is the type of quarterback who can come in and keep things moving if Manuel gets injured, something I'm not as convinced of in the other options.
There's also a lot to be said for a veteran presence. Aside from running back Fred Jackson, the Bills offense is made up of mostly young players.
Orton is a guy who has been around and has been on teams that have gone deep into the playoffs, and he can help guide the team moving forward.
1. Chicago Bears
Sometimes you can go home.
Orton started off his career with the Chicago Bears, performing well over three seasons and finishing his time there with a 21-12 record.
While Jay Cutler is the long-established starter, Josh McCown joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leaving a void in the backup QB spot. Yes, the Bears have bodies there in Jordan Palmer, Jimmy Clausen and David Fales, but if Cutler gets sacked one too many times, then that's a scary situation in Chicago.
It's the only destination that's gaining traction in media circles as well. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune notes that the Bears have tried to acquire him in previous seasons, and if no backup quarterback looks impressive in training camp, it is an option.
Orton with the Bears is the best situation for him too. He has weapons there to throw to, certainly more so than he did with Chicago in 2008, and he already knows how the atmosphere is in the city. If he decides to play, this is easily the most sensible option.