It’s unclear whether free agent quarterback Kyle Orton plans to play in the NFL again. But if he does, Bears General Manager Phil Emery would be interested in bringing him back to Chicago.
“I have great respect for Kyle,” Emery said on ESPN Radio. “When I was in Kansas City, we brought him in. That’s the famous claim the Bears figured they would get [in 2011]. We claimed him. He came in. He started against the Bears; got hurt first or second play. At the time in Kansas City, we won the game. The next week, he starts against Green Bay, an undefeated Green Bay team [which] had the longest winning streak in football at that point. [He] beat them; beat them in Kansas City. Great leadership skills, guys really like playing for him, big arm. So the skill set is there. But as far as where he’s going in his career… that we don’t know.”
Orton was released by the Cowboys after staying home from all offseason work, and there’s been some talk that he plans to retire. But Orton hasn’t done so yet, and it’s possible that he could play if given the right opportunity. Orton was drafted by the Bears in 2005 and played in Chicago for four years.
Backing up Jay Cutler in Chicago may be that opportunity. Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clausen are currently competing for the No. 2 spot in Chicago, with rookie sixth-round draft pick David Fales expected to make the roster as the No. 3. If Orton is motivated, he’d be a better option than anyone currently in Bears camp. Unfortunately for the Bears, Emery seems to believe that Orton will retire, and so Emery is more focused on the guys the Bears have in camp.
“We’re extremely excited about Jay, and we’re extremely excited about the competition we have for the backups. If we see a player at quarterback or any other position that can help us, we’ll certainly take a look,” Emery said.
Orton knows that if he wants to play, Emery is just a phone call away.