Quarterback Kyle Orton has not been taking part in the Cowboys’ offseason work, but coach Jason Garrett maintains that he anticipates seeing Orton for the team’s mandatory minicamp next month.
Garrett isn’t sure whether Orton will be coming to play or just to avoid a $70,000 fine for missing the workout, though. He said “you’ll have to ask” Orton about that theory, which is tied into the notion that Orton does not want to play for the Cowboys but also does not want to retire and repay $3 million of a $5 million signing bonus that the Cowboys gave him when he signed with the team in 2012. If the Cowboys cut him, Orton would be under no such obligation but neither Garrett nor quarterback coach Wade Wilson’s comments suggested that’s imminent.
“We’re still hopeful that Kyle will be here, but if he doesn’t, we feel really good about Brandon [Weeden], especially since he’s going through our off-season program,” Wilson said, via ESPNDallas.com.
If Orton does show up to minicamp, his physical condition will likely determine where things go. If Orton isn’t staying in shape, the team will have to consider making a move to drop him from the roster and perhaps use the $3.25 million in cap savings that would bring to find other backup options. While Weeden is in the program and learning what Scott Linehan wants to do on offense this season, his performance in Cleveland shouldn’t make anyone feel too comfortable with him as the only option behind a 34-year-old coming off back surgery.