Chicago Sun-Times

Could the Bears be interested in Kyle Orton?

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In a somewhat surprising move, the Denver Broncos released veteran quarterback Kyle Orton on Tuesday.

The move was first reported by ESPN.

According to the Denver Post, Orton and his agent David Dunn initiated talks of his release with the Broncos after they learned that Cutler suffered a broken right thumb against the San Diego Chargers Sunday and that he would likely miss the remainder of the regular season.

"Orton let it be known that Chicago would be one place he'd like to play for," the Post story said.

Fox Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer said he hears that the Bears and/ or Kansas City Chiefs will put in a waiver claim for him. If both teams did, the Chiefs would get the veteran because of an inferior record. In fact, the Bears are 30th out of 32 teams, on the waiver priority list because of its 7-3 record.

The Bears appear committed to backup Caleb Hanie, and coach Lovie Smith made clear Monday that they wanted to add a veteran to back him up. Rookie Nate Enderle, a fifth-round pick, is considered a developmental player. The Bears were considering Josh McCown and J.T. O'Sullivan, yet neither was signed on Tuesday. Orton is now believed to be in the mix, after his release Tuesday afternoon.

There have been indications that Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz hasn't fully embraced Hanie. Last year, Martz ultimately tabbed Todd Collins to play ahead of him, even though it was a disastrous performance against the Carolina Panthers. Hanie is also an unrestricted free agent, after this season.

The Kansas City Chiefs, who placed starting quarterback Matt Cassel on the injured reserve last week, started Tyler Palko last night. But Palko threw three interceptions in a 34-3 loss to the New England Patriots.

It will be known if Orton is claimed or cleared waivers Wednesday by 3 p.m., CST. Since the Bears have such a low waiver position, they may consider letting him clear then signing him to a new contract. Any club that claims Orton would have to pay the prorated remainder of his 2011 base salary, which comes to $2.6 million. That's quite an investment, if a club wants Orton as a backup. Hanie, by contrast, will make $420,000 over the final six games -- or roughly what Orton would make to sit on the bench and back him up.

Orton was expendable because he was supplanted as the Broncos starting quarterback by Tim Tebow. Former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn is currently the backup.

"I would like to thank Kyle for all his work with the Denver Broncos," Broncos executive vice president John Elway said. "In the three years that he's been here, he's been an absolute pro. We thought it was best for the Broncos at this time as well as for Kyle to catch on with a different team.

"Kyle is going to have more options in the NFL. He'll get an opportunity to play somewhere else, and we wish him the best of luck."

In a Q&A with fans, the senior writer for the Bears website made clear that the club is "not going to sign Brett Favre, Kurt Warner or Marc Bulger."

"All three of those players are retired, which means they're probably not staying in NFL shape," Larry Mayer wrote. "While it would be intriguing to have one of them join the Bears in a backup capacity, it's not going to happen."

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Perfect Storm for the Bears...

Too bad there are other teams in need of a QB as well.

let's hope for the best... Orton might be the perfect fit for Martz's 3/5/ 7-step and pop QB style.

Getting Orton would allay all my fears about the position going into the 3rd Qtr of the season.

I got my fingers crossed..

The debate over who got the better end of the Cutler-Orton and 2 first rounders trade is officially over. People want to complain about Angelo, look at what Denver has done over the past few years!

I would love to see Orton come back. The guy is a winner. I like the idea of offering him a multi year deal and letting Hanie go at the end of the year since he is a UFA.

Orton?? Seriously? I would rather gamble with bumping Podlesh to QB, even with that horrible overthrow to Craig Steltz

This could be perfect for Bear fans. Orton knows Chicago's system. Yeah, the salary is high compared to Hanie's, but Orton has more experience. Denver actually looks pretty stupid in releasing him. The Bears got Jay cutler AND Johnny Knox in the trade, and John Elway has expressed NO confidence in Timmy Tebow, though Timmy's numbers are better in the short term than Elway's. But, let's face it, Timmy is NO John Elway, Payton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Colt Mcoy, Matthew Stafford, Tony Romo, or even Cam Newton. He's not even a Rex Grossman, Jay Cutler, Danny Wuerful, Kenny Stabler, Eli Manning, or Jake Plummer. For the years he's been a pro he has shown absolutely NO improvement since college. When a pro NFL team has to adapt it's style to a college game the future does not bode well.
Yes, Timmy has a lot of heart and plays the religion card to perfection in the 4th quarter. But, what about the other three? What about the divine help he desperately needs to make him a bon-a-fide NFL QB? Where is his god when he REALLY needs him?

I think all of Chicago would welcome his return and the other teams would not be interested since their playoff hopes are already gone. I am hoping we can get him since he is the only active QB with experience that is not in the NFL retirement home or a QB no one else wanted to start.

id take him back.. hes smart and can manage a game and we still like him dont we?
strange that the bears traded him and now he my be back..

still think hanie needs his shot but id rather have orton then anyone else out there

Niddly diddly foo foo!

Could the unstoppable Kyley Orton be coming bay=ck? Me thinks so! This is the bestest, most wonderfullest day ever! The Neckbeard, the Bearded Bear, The Naked Bear Except For Up There! Oh my, how does one handle all this excitement?

And then the icing on the cake, Sean. You quoted the great Larry Mayer. Ahh reading his words are nothinbg short of orgazmic. Oh my, Larry Mayer, oh my oh my.

Thank you Santa and get your Bumstead on! Hoorah!

Correction, Hanie will make $420,000 over last six games not $42,000 as written.

Yup. Orton will be great with 7 step drops in Martz's system. If he doesn't get murdered by pass rushers before he gets his feet set, he's sure to throw the ball directly at the recievers feet.

I like Orton. The Martz system is a bad fit for him.

God. Please. Bring Jay Cutler back in 4 weeks.

I think Caleb Hanie deserves a real shot.


Orton is experienced, but he doesn't know Martz's system. The only receiver left from 2008 is Devin Hester. Orton has zero repoir with the rest of the receivers.

I say wing it with Hanie. Hopefully, we won't have to think about what Enderle can and can't do. Here's to hoping Hanie stays healthy.

Any wins in the last 6 games will be because the Bears "team" is stronger than the other "team", and not about what the QB can or can't do. Sure, the Bears have a backup QB playing. But so does KC, Oak, Seattle, Denver, and Minnesota. None of these QB's started the season as the starter.

Oakland will be the toughest opponent besides GB in the final 6 weeks. And if GB loses tomorrow against Detroit, then they might play Flynn for most of the game.

It's really a shame what happened to Cutler. He was playing the best ball of his career. The whole team was beaming with confidence, and in a great rhythm. But a broken thumb will heal in 6 weeks, and I believe Cutler starts for the Bears in the Wild Card game on January 7th or 8th. They will face either Dallas, NYG, or New Orleans on the road. And I like their chances

Makes an interesting story line, but not happening.

This subject may come up again in the off-season, but I don't see it happening this year. Compared to what is on the street, Orton is way too good to be available to the Bears.

I never particularly cared for Orton, but perhaps he could be a reasonable back-up to Hanie. I think the Broncos are making a big mistake by placing their bets on Tebow. I suspect he will be both contained and probably injured before the seaon is over. He has been incredibly lucky so far, bu opponents will adjust to his styleand his inaccurate passing is going to hurt him big time very soon. In general, I do not really want to see Orton back in a Bear uniform, and yes, I would prefer the excitement and incosistency of a Rex Grossman.

Are you kidding, this is the Bears they don't spend that kind of money. I would be surprised if the Bears went after Orton unless it was after everyone passed on him and they could get him at a huge discount.

I like where the Bears are right now with Caleb Hanie. First it allows Caleb the opportunity to get 1st team reps in real and important NFL games while Cutler heals and is able to come back at playoff time. The Bears will focus more on the rush and play action which is part of the reason they are at 7-3 at this point in the season. The Bears defense needs to crank it up since really they have had a pedestrian first 10 games, some really good and most really bad games for their standards and what Chicago fans expects in a good defensive effort. This is a great time to really see what this team is made of down the stretch. I think they will positively surprise,particularly if the corners play a little contact within the 5 yard limit like Tillman did against Calvin Johnson but not the defense he played against Vincent Jackson who scorched the Bears.

If Cutler can't come back, then Hanie will have some good NFL experience to make a start in the playoffs. I think Hanie is better and will perform better than most think on this blog.

Oh thank god the Chiefs took him, which is the right fit for him becasue that is the McNugget offense he loves so. For those who thought he would have been the perfect fit for the Martz offense and what the Bears do, please stop yourselves. The Bears don't run that much of the Martz offense anymore and moved to a more run action hybrid of the WCO. Orton is not a deep passer, and the offensive line can't do seven step drops, that's why they dumped them from the offense along with the pre-motion shifting.

Orton is a spread offense QB and that is basically what McNugget ran and that is what the Chiefs run, he knows zero about the Martz offense, and does not have the athletic ability to play in the run action style the Bears use now. Not to mention he wants to start, which he will for the Chiefs and now the Bears defense can beat him into the ground and I can enjoy every second of it.

If Tebow, Moore, Sanchez, Fitzpatrick, McCoy, Jackson, Smith, Grossman, Kolb, Beck, Orton and Gabbert can start in the nfl and get some wins then so can Hanie. He does not even need to be good, he just needs to protect the ball, he has a good shot of beating teams like the Chiefs, Vikings, Seattle and Broncos. The Bears defense is running some good new stuff with all that single high man coverage and the Bears special teams is as good as it gets and can win a couple games on its own if it has too.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on November 22, 2011 4:05 PM.

Former Bears college scouting director breaks down Caleb Hanie was the previous entry in this blog.

Caleb Hanie embraces the opportunity is the next entry in this blog.

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