Cowboys quarterback Kyle Orton has remained absent from the team throughout the offseason and likewise silent about his plans. The Cowboys thought he’d show up for a mandatory minicamp, and he didn’t.
The current thinking is that Orton will eventually report for duty, with a 70-30 chance of Orton walking through the door when training camp opens. The other alternative is retirement, which would cost Orton $3 million of his $5 million signing bonus from 2012.
Orton presumably hopes the Cowboys will cut him before practice resumes on July 24, but that remains the least likely outcome by far.
“We anticipate him being at training camp,” coach Jason Garrett said after the conclusion of the team’s three-day minicamp, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Communication is a big part of that situation, trying to understand why he wasn’t here and taking the necessary work. . . . What we have to do and need to do as an organization is penalize him the necessary amounts of fines and those kinds of things. We also just want to understand and communicate and try to figure out [how] this situation is going to play out that’s best for the Dallas Cowboys and for Kyle Orton.”
Orton could show up and then hope the Cowboys cut him, especially if they have determined that Brandon Weeden will serve as a more capable and willing backup to Tony Romo.
Orton started the team’s final regular-season game of the 2013 season, presiding over the third straight loss in the unofficial NFC East championship game. It quite possibly may have been his last game with the team, and it’s hard not to wonder whether he has another team in mind for 2014.