Chicago Sun-Times

Chiefs claim Kyle Orton, Bears sign Josh McCown

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The Kansas City Chiefs, who placed starter Matt Cassel on injured reserve last week, has claimed Kyle Orton, according to multiple reports.

Meanwhile, the Bears immediately announced the signing of Josh McCown to a one-year deal.

Orton was surprisingly released by the Broncos on Tuesday. According to the Denver Post, his agent David Dunn asked the Broncos for his release, after he and his client learned that Jay Cutler would be lost for more than a month with a broken right thumb. Orton made it clear that he wanted to play for the Bears. But he ultimately has no control over that, because he's subject to the NFL's waiver wire. A club that claims him would accept the final $2.58 million due to him this season from the Broncos.

The Bears were one of three teams to put in a claim for him. The other two were the Chiefs, of course, and the Dallas Cowboys. The Bears had the 30th waiver spot, because of a 7-3 record.

McCown has started 31 of 47 games played in eight NFL seasons with the Arizona Cardinals (2002-05), Detroit Lions (2006), Oakland Raiders (2007) and Carolina Panthers (2008-09) after entering the league as a third-round pick of the Cardinals.

He's 6-4, 213 pounds, and he played at Sam Houston State. He's completed 610 of 1,058 (57.7 percent) passes during his NFL career for 6,584 yards, 35 touchdowns and 40 interceptions for a 71.3 passer rating.

He will backup Caleb Hanie, who will make his first career start in Oakland Sunday.

The Bears also considered veteran J.T. O'Sullivan.

The Chiefs were desperate for quarterback help, after Tyler Palko struggled on Monday night against the New England Patriots. He was intercepted three times in a 34-3 loss.

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BFD. The real news here is that the Bears have the 30th waiver spot. That means they have the 3rd best record in the league vs. strength of schedule. I think that opened a lot of eyes this week.

The second biggest news is that Hanie is an unrestricted free agent after the season. That means if he plays well, and I think he will, he goes somewhere else at the end of the year. The Bears will get bupkus for their long term investment in him.

As for McCown, I still like the weenie roast idea.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on November 23, 2011 3:15 PM.

Caleb Hanie embraces the opportunity was the previous entry in this blog.

Josh McCown: "I just want to do whatever I can to help" is the next entry in this blog.

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