The Kansas City Chiefs won the Kyle Orton sweepstakes, putting in the winning waiver claim for the former Broncos’ quarterback. Two other teams put in claims for Orton, but were further down the priority list than Kansas City with their 4-6 record. Chicago put in a claim, as expected. More surprising was that the Dallas Cowboys also put in a claim for Orton.
With injured quarterbacks, Orton made sense for both the Chiefs and the Bears. Dallas, on the other hand, has a healthy Tony Romo leading the way. Romo’s backup is veteran Jon Kitna.
Orton might have usurped Kitna as a backup, but some speculated that Dallas’ claim for Orton was done with an eye toward the NFC playoff race. Andrew Brandt from the National Football Post insinuated as much on Twitter when the news broke.
Sense Cowboys were willing to spend $2.6 million — Orton’s remaining 2011 salary — to block Bears from having him for playoff chase.
Regardless, Orton will play for the Chiefs now, and will face his former team in week 17.
The Kyle Orton sweepstakes are now over. According to ESPN, the Kansas City Chiefs have claimed Orton off the waiver wire. The Chiefs had the ninth priority in the waiver wire, ahead of a team like the Bears, who were rumored to be interested in Orton.
Orton initially requested his release from the Bears after Jay Cutler was injured. Reports say he preferred to land in Chicago and ESPN has previously reported that Orton may not report if the Chiefs claimed him so this story may not be over.
Orton's next destination has been a subject of speculation in the NFL world for the last 24 hours since the Broncos announced his release. All veterans released after the NFL trade deadline are subject to the waiver wire so every team -- from worst to best record -- had a shot at claiming him. So teams like the Redskins and Dolphins were thrown around as possibilities.
The Broncos, who released him on Tuesday, had clearly moved on from the Orton era. Tim Tebow took over the starting duties and the Broncos have won four out of their last five under him, bringing them to within one game of the AFC West lead.
Orton was the Bears fourth round pick in the 2005 NFL draft. He stayed in Chicago for four years before joining Josh McDaniels in Denver as the starter for two and a half seasons.
There's heavy speculation that Orton wants to play for the Bears and the Bears want him in Chicago while Jay Cutler is injured. However, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the unidentified team claimed Orton before Chicago had its chance so he won't be a Bear.
Washington? Miami? Kansas City? The mystery should be emerging soon.
The Denver Broncos sent Kyle Orton packing on Tuesday which has set off a firestorm of speculation as to which team will claim him off the waiver wire. Each team will have a shot at issuing a claim on him -- the order is from worst record to best record -- before Wednesday's 4:00 p.m. (ET) deadline.
Obviously the Bears, with Jay Cutler's injury, will be interested. But they're all the way down at the 30th spot on the waiver wire so if anyone puts a claim in on him, the Bears will likely be out.
Among the teams near the top we could see issue a claim are the Redskins, Dolphins and Chiefs. Washington in particular is an interesting candidate. Mike Shanahan is the head coach and his former quarterback is John Elway, who nows runs the Broncos. It makes you wonder if Elway released Orton now knowing that someone, perhaps his old coach, would claim him.
The Texans are another team raised as a possibility but they just signed Kellen Clemens and there's not much cap room for Orton so they're no longer a candidate.
The process ends at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday when we'll find out where Orton goes next.
The Denver Broncos have waived QB Kyle Orton two and a half years after acquiring him and now the question is why the Broncos chose now to cut him.
One possible answer is that the Broncos think a quarterback-needy team out there will claim him off the waiver wire. And if a team does that, they also pick up the rest of his $7.4 million salary.
The timing of this is curious because in the last week several teams have had injuries to their quarterback. There's Matt Cassel with the Chiefs, but Orton doesn't make much sense in KC because they're not really in the postseason race.
But two more teams that suffered quarterback injuries -- Houston Texans and Chicago Bears -- make a lot more sense for Orton. The Texans have Matt Leinart working behind Matt Schaub, who suffered a potential season-ending injury last week. The Bears, of course, are Orton's former team and they're dealing with Jay Cutler's injury, which could sideline him for the rest of the regular season. In Cutler's place, the inexperienced Caleb Hanie steps in.
The question is whether Orton makes their team better in the short-term. We haven't seen Leinart nor Hanie work in extensive action yet so we don't truly know the answer to that question but there's an argument Orton can immediately make both teams better.
Keep an eye on the waiver wire this week. It'll be interesting to see if anyone decides to pick Orton up.