Kyle Orton: Chicago Bears and 5 Landing Spots for Recently Waived QB
Kyle Orton was waived by the Denver Broncos today in what is one of the more surprising moves so far this season. There are many teams in need of a starting quarterback with a cannon like Orton, and the Chicago Bears—Orton's ex-team—is certainly going to have a decision to make.
Who else should take a shot at one of the more enigmatic quarterbacks in the NFL?
Orton began the season as the Broncos starting quarterback, but as it became evident that he could not lead the team to victory, the pressure to give fan favorite and media darling Tim Tebow a shot grew unbearable.
Tebow got his shot, and he has taken the opportunity and ran with it.
3-1 as a starter, the kid from the University of Florida with the funky wind-up is taking all NFL conventional wisdom and turning it on its head. People say he can't lead a pro offense. People say he doesn't throw right.
Who cares? He wins, and that is all that matters in the National Football League.
With Tebow thriving, Orton became expendable. Now the question becomes, where will Orton land?
Let's take a look at five potential landing spots for the ex-Broncos quarterback.
5. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks made a terrible mistake this offseason.
With Matt Hasselbeck leaving via free agency, they decided to go after Minnesota Vikings reject Tarvaris Jackson. The speedy quarterback had shown almost no flashes of potential and was seen by many to be a career backup.
Still, the Hawks pursued.
After hearing news that Hasselbeck had signed with the Tennessee Titans, Seattle threw some money at Jackson and hoped it would stick. It did, and they had their man.
Unfortunately, their man sucks. And so does his backup, Charlie Whitehurst.
With a 4-7 record, Seattle has played their way out of the Suck-For-(Andrew)Luck campaign and have almost no hope for the future of the most important position on the field.
Kyle Orton is a solid quarterback who will give them a great chance (next season, not this year) in one of the weakest divisions in football.
Need For Orton: 6 out of 10
4. Kansas City Chiefs
The fact of the matter is, no one really knows the answer to that question. In 2009 and 2011, Cassel looked like a bad quarterback on a bad team. In 2010, however, Cassel was able to lead a very good offense with a terrific 27-7 TD:INT ratio.
Of course, the success in 2010 was mostly due to the great running backs—Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones—but you can't take away from Cassel's ability to make great decisions and put his team in a position to win ballgames.
This year, Cassel has been inconsistent as ever and was recently put on Injured Reserve with an injury to his right hand, putting a premature end to his 2011 season.
Despite a 4-6 record, the Chiefs are still in the hunt for a playoff spot.
They should try and lure Kyle Orton, a proven NFL starter, as the development of backup Tyler Palko should be secondary.
Need for Orton: 6.5 out of 10
3. Washington Redskins
Being a Washington Redskins fan this season has been especially bad.
They started off the year red-hot, with quarterback Rex Grossman forcing people to reevaluate his status as a bottom-tier starter.
Then, in a twist nobody saw coming, the bottom fell out.
Grossman started playing like Grossman, and the Redskins' postseason hopes disappeared almost instantly. Backup John Beck relieved Grossman, but he too failed in miserable fashion.
The Redskins are one of only two teams on this list (Seattle Seahawks being the other) who actually need Kyle Orton for more than just the rest of this season. They have lacked a good quarterback for years, and Orton is their best option at this point.
They should grab Orton, draft a quarterback to develop and let the ex-Bronco lead the offense for a couple of seasons.
He can't be worse than Rex, right?
Need for Orton: 8 out of 10
2. Houston Texans
The injury to Matt Schaub's foot has devastated Houston Texans fans and has put a gigantic question mark on what was looking like a very promising 2011 season.
Houston was one of the AFC's best teams. With Schaub, Arian Foster and Andre Johnson, their offense was extremely dangerous, while their defense did a complete 180 from last season and has become one of the NFL's stingiest units.
With Schaub going down, however, Texans fans are going to have to put their faith into one of the biggest busts of recent history, Matt Leinart.
Leinart was a stud at the University of Southern California, but had a difficult time getting his act together during his four years as a member of the Arizona Cardinals.
He has a chance for redemption in Houston, but I don't think anyone is really counting on it.
The Texans would be better off nabbing Kyle Orton, and praying that by the time the playoffs roll around, Schaub's foot is healthy enough to get him on the field.
This would be more of a half-year rental than an actual long-term investment, but for a team on the fast track to the postseason, it may actually be worth it.
Need for Orton: 8.5 out of 10
1. Chicago Bears
The injury to Jay Cutler's thumb just feels unfair to a Chicago Bears team that seemed to finally have found their franchise quarterback.
Chicago has always been a place where defense came first, and quarterbacks were usually mediocre at best. Even when they made the Super Bowl in 2006, it came with the awful Rex Grossman under center.
After starting off the season as one of the NFL's most inconsistent teams, a recent five-game winning streak had many people pegging the Bears as a sleeper team in the talent loaded NFC North.
Cutler had the offense rolling especially, scoring 30-plus points in four of their five previous games.
But alas, it was not meant to be. Cutler went down, and now the onus falls on Caleb Hanie. Hanie is a career backup whose most notable moment was being forced into action during last season's NFC Championship game.
Hanie performed admirably, but his two interceptions were too much to overcome against an offense led by the hottest quarterback in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers.
In the NFC North, one loss could knock Chicago from contention. Instead of entrusting Hanie, they should hand the reins over to Kyle Orton, an ex-Bear himself, and let him try and guide Da' Bears to the promised land.
Need for Orton: 9 out of 10