Denver Broncos coach John Fox said he waived quarterback Kyle Orton on Tuesday, in part, so that Orton could catch on with another team and help that team down the road.
Left unsaid is whether Fox wants that team to be the Chicago Bears, given they just lost starting quarterback Jay Cutler to a thumb injury and play the Raiders on Sunday. The Broncos trail the Raiders by one game in the AFC West.
“We feel good about our quarterback group, and this gives Kyle an opportunity to help another team and showcase his talents,” Fox said.
First things first. Orton now is subject to the waiver process, which makes him available to the league’s 31 other teams for the next 24 hours, in reverse order of records.
For example, the Indianapolis Colts get first crack at Orton based on their 0-10 record. The 10-0 Green Bay Packers would get Orton only if they placed a claim and the 30 teams ahead of them passed.
Interestingly, the Raiders would get Orton before the Bears based upon Oakland’s 6-4 record, one game worse than the 7-3 Bears.
So, in theory, the Raiders could claim Orton as a means of preventing him from being claimed by the Bears. In that case, the Raiders would be liable for the remainder of his hefty salary this season — almost $500,000 per game — and forced to cut a player from their 53-man roster.
The smart money says, the Raiders pass on placing a claim on Orton. Some might say that the Raiders should want the Bears to get Orton because of how well they have fared against Orton in the past.
As of now, the Bears are poised to go with untested quarterack Caleb Hanie. Claiming Orton might give them a better option down the road, but the Bears would be hard-pressed to get Orton up to speed between now and the game Sunday.
Another interesting aspect to this situation involves the Broncos playing the Bears on Dec. 11. The Broncos surely would want to face the Bears with Hanie at quarterback, and not Orton. Or would they?
If nothing else, this makes for fun water-cooler talk on an off day for the Raiders. It will be interesting to hear coach Hue Jackson’s take Wednesday.
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