Orton deal leaves some scratching their heads

AP

Kyle Orton quit on the Cowboys, forcing the team to eventually cut him and walking away with a full $5 million signing bonus despite putting in only two of five years of work.  Orton then one-upped Brett Favre, waiting until training camp and the preseason ended before going back to work, signing a contract with the Bills.

Some look at the deal that reportedly will pay Orton $5 million this year and scratch their heads.  He has created a perception that he doesn’t really want to play, and that he simply wants to cash large checks.

Despite a league-wide lack of talented quarterbacks, only the Bills took the bait, allowing Orton to breeze in a week before the season opener and giving him high-end backup money that could become low-end starter money, if EJ Manuel gets injured or doesn’t perform.

Looking at the bigger picture in Western New York, it’s not surprising that the Bills would roll the dice.  With a new owner coming and said new owner unlikely to keep the current football operation in place unless the team is playing so well that the fans wouldn’t accept a changing of the guard, the Bills need a break-glass-in-the-event-of-emergency option, in the event EJ doesn’t quickly take it to the proverbial next level.

The players may be skeptical that EJ will be the guy, what with the whole not-a-captain thing.  Which opens the door for the locker room to clamor for Orton, if Manuel regresses.

If/when Orton takes over, look for no one to display consternation or resentment over the fact that Orton swooped in at the last possible minute to get paid, without regard to whether he’s prepared to actually play.  But if he doesn’t play well, it’s fair to question whether Orton’s lack of desire to work from March through August has affected his ability to thrive from September to December.

59 responses to “Orton deal leaves some scratching their heads

  1. If I recall, Orton never said had was retiring. That was media speculation. And Jerry Jones said he wasn’t retiring when he was released. So, this talk that he was retiring seems false. He did quit on the Cowboys though. Like McCown, it may be his last shot to start somewhere. I guess I can’t blame him for trying.

  2. This doesn’t strike me as all that shady. It’s not like Orton levied for more money in Dallas, he just wanted to retire, and do so with the money his contract obligated him. As far as signing with Buffalo, everybody has a price, and when an NFL team is willing to pay you a lot to be a security blanket if their starter goes down, holding a clipboard for a few hundred thousand a week doesn’t sound all too bad. How many of us wouldn’t pull the trigger on a similar situation in our line of work?

  3. And this is why the new owner should and likely will clean out the offices. Everyone from Whaley to the guy who washes the toilet needs to be replaced.

  4. He’s the ultimate coach potato. Getting paid 5 mil to do nothing and sits home all offseason doing nothing then reappear at the start of the season.

  5. This doesn’t strike me as all that shady. It’s not like Orton levied for more money in Dallas, he just wanted to retire, and do so with the money his contract obligated him. As far as signing with Buffalo, everybody has a price, and when an NFL team is willing to pay you a lot to be a security blanket if their starter goes down, holding a clipboard for a few hundred thousand a week doesn’t sound all too bad. How many of us wouldn’t pull the trigger on a similar situation in our line of work?

    He was paid in advance for work he wouldn’t do.
    He’s only 31 and thinks he was dealt a bad hand with the Tebow stuff in Denver. I’m not sure if you read the story but it clearly says “Kyle Orton quit on the Cowboys, forcing the team to eventually cut him and walking away with a full $5 million signing bonus despite putting in only two of five years of work.” meaning he jobbed the system. It worked, but he’s still a punk.

  6. Can you blame the Bills? They finally realize they can’t win with EJ, so I could care less if they overpay for an average QB. This is a playoff team but not even close with EJ as the starter. Orton will be starting by week 3..

  7. Good for Kyle Orton…nice not great QB, let’s say ‘serviceable’….so all he’s worth is low-end starter money as you know he’s going to be starting before the Season’s over….What’s your ‘RANT’ about anyway?

  8. Orton was probably sick of playing behind someone (Romo) he felt he was better then. I mean look at the Buffalo situation:

    “if EJ Manuel gets injured or doesn’t perform”
    IF – are you kidding it’s more like when.

    Orton has a much better chance of seeing the field in Buffalo. If Jones didn’t want to pursue the signing bonus call him out.

  9. Perhaps Orton was extremely uncomfortable with the Dallas organization and wanted out no matter what the financial or career cost. Might be the right call, might not be, but it would not be a simple matter of dollars.

    Recent example– Carson Palmer–Cincinnati.

  10. I believe that Orton wanted to play, but couldn’t tolerate Jerrah Jones’ drama and antics. Dallas has inherited the mantle of being the most dysfunctional team in the NFL from the Raydurz. The Cowboys have no hope of another championship until Jerrah takes the proverbial dirt nap. He’ll never hire a GM or stop meddling with personnel and coaching decisions until then.

  11. I don’t fault any player for getting what he can for these billionaire owners. Owners who routinely dump players who are too costly and whine to public for financing stadiums so they can take in dough. Props to Boston as only city I am aware of where all venues were privately funded. Don’t hear Bruins Celtics Pats or Red Sox crying poor and threatening to move.

  12. This why Belichick drafts his backups and when their rookie contract is up, draft another one.

    Keep the money for guys actually playing every week.

  13. Salary caps always affect a team badly, so why would any team throw away valuable cash for a loser like orten? A rookie from a Div 2 school could lose just as well and a whole lot cheaper, if orten plays it’s a given that he can’t get any team into the playoffs. I don’t “get it.”

  14. “He has created a perception that he doesn’t really want to play, and that he simply wants to cash large checks.”

    Did he create that, or did a succession of GMs and coaches on different teams screwing him about, do it?

    As others have implied, the biter finally got bit. Good for Orton. Now, please try not to go bankrupt within five years.

  15. This was a smart move by the Bills. They got a good QB without giving up another starter in trade. Maybe Cousins or Sanchez will be available to a needy team like the Rams. But not for free. So, Orton missed the game and saw an opportunity to be a starter at best and a well paid back-up at the least. Win-Win for him and the Bills.

  16. What’s head scratching about wanting to pick up an extra few million dollars that you didn’t have to do anything for?

  17. Good for Orton, taking advantage of the financial opportunity presented to him….. No GM ever kept paying any player just cuz……no matter what they promise, teams will shred a contract without any concern, so if the situation’s reversed, they should take their medicine-“it’s a business”, right?

    Its just funny because traditionally only Walter Jones, Strahan, Favre type guys get out of going to training camp. Not backups. Good for Orton!

  18. Capt. Neckbeard gamed the system. Good for him. Players so rarely are able to work the system to their favor. I’m sure agents and owners will scurry to make sure this never happens again, then say it is to protect the integrity of the game.

    Hold that clipboard Kyle. Get that money.

  19. IMO the NFL needs to close up this loop hole. Any sympathy a player wants to get his “respect money” just went out the door with Ratliff and now Orton. I’m sure it happens to other teams as well.

    Right now my empathy to any player wanting more money or a guaranty is zero.

  20. Hey, football is a business (as the coaches and owners are always telling us when they screw players out of money), so I think it’s great that Orton is acting like a serious NFL businessman! More power to him.

  21. More power to Orton- he knew that he was better than Romo- but the moron that owns the team will make bad decisions until he dies- that is when you will see the Cowboys improve, not before….

  22. “He has created a perception that he doesn’t really want to play, and that he simply wants to cash large checks.”

    Who doesn’t want to cash large checks?

    The issue seems to be that he didn’t want to play in Dallas. Why he felt that way is anyone’s guess.

  23. Kyle OrtonTM(c)(p), LLC made a sound and practical business decision, in the best interests of its stakeholders, and will continue to do so, now and into the future.

    Like anyone else on the the roster, if he doesn’t perform, he’ll be gone.

  24. The idea that Orton is better or even ever himself thought that he was better than Tony Romo is hilarious! Only Antonio Romo can bring out the trolls on an article that never mentioned his name.

  25. You have no clue what a new owner will do…and if it’s Terry Pegula, which it will be, he will keep them on for another year.

    It you knew anything, you’d know that is exactly what he did with the Sabres…but he kept them on much longer than an extra year, with poor performance and the fans beating down his doors to fire HC and GM.

    Making assumptions like that is absurd…and Doug Whaley absolutely deserves another chance…look at how he has turned over the roster and some picks he has made, like Alonso in the 2nd and Henderson in the 7th…or how he raped the Colts in the Hughes-Sheppard trade.

    You are so uninformed it’s not funny.

  26. If you look at it another way….teams are always cutting players, therefore not fulfilling contracts that they have agreed to with players… But low and behold… a player returns the favor and he is a piece of crap?

  27. Guys. . .Orton was cut, he didn’t “quit”. Jerry WANTED Weeden, and DECIDED to throw away the 5 million to make the change, because, you know, he’s Jerry. Stop blaming Orton, he got paid, got cut, got picked up, the end. And good for him. And on a side note, Ortons daughter is more consistent on the football field than Tony Romo. If you believe different, you are a cowboys fan, still waiting for Jerry to lead the team to the promise land, after firing Jimmy Johnson AND Bill Parcells for being good at their job. Jerry wants a puppet, not a football coach. If you’re good at building a team, then Jerry is obviously going to disagree with you, and fire you for insubordination. I feel bad for the fans, especially the ones that believe Jerry’s plan of Romo and Weeden, minus DeMarcus Ware, is going to work. Sorry, someone had to say it.

  28. Wow. Delusion can be corrected with medication.

    Orton was supposed to report for OTA’s. He didn’t. His agent said he was contemplating retirement. The Cowboys kept asking for an answer and never responded. If you don’t report to work and you don’t answer your bosses request to come into work, guess what? You just quit. The firing is just the perfunctory step he forced them into so he could keep all the money he didn’t earn.

    As for Jimmy Johnson – Johnson has never won a SB without Jones, but Jones has won a SB without Johnson.

  29. Buffalo has no first rounder next year. It would be an absolute disaster for them to finish with a top 3 pick and that’s what they are looking like now.

  30. “… the Bills need a break-glass-in-the-event-of-emergency option…”
    ———————————-
    To me, this screams TEBOW! There is no Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers available, and EJ is clearly not going to turn into Peyton Manning. If they switch to a focus on running unprecedented in the last twenty-plus years, they just might catch the pass-focused defenses in the NFL off-guard and wrongly staffed. It might not work, but how could they be worse off than with Manuel and Orton?

    The Broncos’ half-hearted stab at it in 2011 was surprisingly effective. Tebow, Spiller and Jackson – who’s going to stop them? Besides, Orton has already lost his job to Tebow twice. Third time’s the charm.

  31. The league has been fleecing the fans for years and playing games with the one-way contracts where the player is always on the short end so it’s really nice to see someone game the game.

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