Chicago Bears: Why the Bears Won't Claim Quarterback Kyle Orton

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Chicago Bears: Why the Bears Won't Claim Quarterback Kyle Orton
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Yesterday ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported former UFL Quarterback Josh McCown was a top candidate for a backup role on the Chicago Bears roster. Since that report, it looks like things have changed.

The Denver Broncos have waived quarterback Kyle Orton, who was traded from the Bears prior to the 2009 season. Initial reports stated that this may have been an effort by the Broncos to get out of his $2.58m contract because if another team picks him up off of waivers, they would be responsible for the contract. If nobody claims him by 2 p.m. Wednesday, the Broncos are still responsible for the money.

However, it looks like Kyle Orton pushed for his release, according to the Denver Post.

According to the paper, Orton’s agent began talks with the Broncos once Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s injury became public.

Although Orton is a former Chicago Bear, he has not played under current offensive coordinator Mike Martz. When Orton played in Chicago (2005-2009), he played under offensive coordinator Ron Turner, who is currently the Indianapolis Colts quarterback coach. So the thought that Orton would be able to step in and play right away is quite a stretch.

McCown has the leg up on Orton in that category.

Unlike your fantasy football team, the NFL waiver wire is decided by the win-loss record of the team. The Broncos are 30th on the waiver wire, which means 29 other teams will have to pass on Orton if they want to claim the quarterback. If no team claims Orton, he will become a free agent.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

There are plenty of teams that would love a veteran quarterback like Orton.

The Miami Dolphins were at one time trying to trade for him before the season, although those talks fell through and the Fins have since found a winning streak with Matt Moore.

The Washington Redskins have had quarterback struggles ever since Brad Johnson left the team in 2000. Although many feel that the ‘Skins will draft a young quarterback for the future, Orton could be the veteran that starts for Shanahan in 2012.

The Kansas City Chiefs are still in playoff contention, and if you watched Monday Night Football, you know that they need a quarterback badly.

If we believe that Orton will find a system he knows, he could be a Colt in the near future. Although the Colts don’t want to eliminate themselves from the “Suck for Luck Sweepstakes,” they definitely don’t want to go 0-16 either.

Josh McCown’s hopes on becoming a Bear are still high in my opinion. With no bye week, the Bears want someone who knows the system, and Orton doesn’t. Add to the fact that there are a good handful of teams ahead of them in the waiver wire, and it’s unlikely that you can pull out your old No. 18 Bears jersey.

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