Cowboys backup quarterback Kyle Orton wants to walk away from the NFL, but he may not be able to afford it.
Orton has told the team he wants to retire, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The Cowboys don’t want him to, however, and Rapoport reports that the two sides are currently in a standoff.
Ultimately, this is a standoff Orton would win: If Orton wants to retire, the Cowboys can’t force him not to. But what they can do is force Orton to pay back $3 million of the $5 million signing bonus he received when he signed a five-year contract two years ago. And that’s exactly what the Cowboys will do if Orton walks away.
Maybe Orton has managed his money well enough that he can afford to write Jerry Jones a $3 million check and still have enough to live on for the rest of his life. But the Cowboys seem to be calculating that Orton simply won’t be willing to walk away from that kind of money, on top of the $3.25 million salary he’ll get if he plays the 2014 season.
Officially, the Cowboys are saying they expect Orton to play. If not, Plan B is for Brandon Weeden to back up Tony Romo.