Kyle Orton announces his retirement

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The Bills brought Kyle Orton on board just before the start of the season and the quarterback wound up playing a major role for the team as they put up their first winning record since 2004.

Orton replaced EJ Manuel as the starter after four games and piloted the Bills to seven wins that kept them in the playoff race for most of the season. That effort wound up falling short, but Orton’s 18 touchdowns and 64.2 completion percentage were a big part of the reason why they lasted as long as they did.

It was hardly everything you want in a quarterback, but he stabilized the position when Manuel seemed unable to do it. Orton won’t be around to help them out again in 2015, though. Orton announced his retirement from the NFL via the Bills on Monday morning.

“I just have been going at it for 10 years and it’s just a family decision and I’ve decided to get home and be a dad and call it a day,” Orton said.

Quarterback should have been on any Buffalo offseason shopping list before Orton’s announcement and it might get bumped to higher priority now that the team is left with Manuel as the only quarterback on their active roster. Before they get to that, though, the team has to sort out what kind of organizational changes will be made as new owner Terry Pegula embarks on his first offseason since buying the team.

68 responses to “Kyle Orton announces his retirement

  1. EJ Manuel is NOT the answer. The Bills are a good QB away from the playoffs if they can keep the rest of the team together. Let’s see what the offseason may bring………

  2. Great. Now EJ is the only answer. Back to square one.

    This makes me sad for 2 reasons- 1) how pathetic has rooting for the Bills become where I’m actually upset a guy like Kyle Orton is retiring and 2) the Bills are in the same position as it relates to QB as they were throughout all of training camp, and the only NFL ready QB will be gone with the first pick, 2nd at best.

    Orton retired last year- he could also be turning into the next Brett Favre, albeit a very poor man’s version.

  3. A true class act. Good luck Kyle. The Bills should pursue a QB in free agency. They have all the pieces together to be a major force in the AFC for years to come.

  4. EJ Manuel is a statistically better QB and most of his issues are mechanical or mental in nature and can be corrected with time and coaching. I still think he can turn into a longer term solution for this team. Maybe not the franchise guy, but a guy who can get the team into the playoffs and not lose games.

  5. niners816 says:
    Dec 29, 2014 10:19 AM

    That dude had the gnarliest neck beard I’ve ever seen. That’s what I’ll remember.
    __________________________________

    I’d give that honor to Andrew Luck now.

  6. Thanks for helping team out you did a great job for us.

    but has a fan i could tell you were not into the game 100%

    good luck with family and wish you well, not bad retiring at 33!!! enjoy

  7. Thanks for helping team out you did a great job for us.

    but has a fan i could tell you were not into the game 100%

    good luck with family and wish you well, not bad retiring at 33!!! enjoy

  8. The team needs to get some top evaluators of quarterbacks and find someone for the short-terms and prey in the next couple of years they can find their future in the draft.

    QB’s Bills could of drafted, but didn’t since Jim Kelly.

    1. Tom Brady
    2. Ben Roethislisberger
    3. Aaron Rogers
    4. Joe Flacco
    5. Russell Wilson
    6. Tony Romo
    7. Andy Dalton
    8. Derek Carr
    9. Alex Smith (could of traded for him 2013)

  9. Whaley (or Polian or whoever) ought to trade examine the following:

    — a trade for whatever the Eagles will take for Nick Foles
    — a trade for Robert Griffin
    — acquiring Sam Bradford
    — drafting Garrett Grayson
    — continuing to develop E.J. Manuel.

    And then just keep drafting QBs until you find the right one.

  10. At least he can go out in (relative) style after getting the Bills off the Foxboro schneid.

    Fire Russ Brandon and Doug Whaley. Keep Marone for another season, but get a better OC.

    Oh yeah, and a real QB.

  11. This “time to be a dad” thing just doesn’t cut it in football. The hours aren’t that long and you’re only on the road for 8 games a year. In baseball, dads are gone so long they barely know their kids.

    The truth is, backup QBs barely work while bringing in a couple million per year. Seems to me you owe it to your family to keep the gravy train going for a few more years.

  12. I am actually shocked, I believe Orton brought the experience that my Bills needed to win. He managed the game well. I am still wondering why the Bills traded Stevie Johnson. He and Sammy Watkins could have made a dynamic duo. Also please get rid of C.J spiller he simply has not live up to expectations. All and all I am proud of the Buffalo Bills. Marrone is a good coach, get rid of hackett as O.C. Plus Kiko Alonso comes back next year that defense will be even scarier!!!

  13. Good for Orton. Check out his and Cutler’s lifetime stats…same guy. Jay just has more of everything but percentages are all fairly even.

  14. @sinkit5

    he was 32 and just turned 32 a month ago…

    this guy could have made millions either as starter or holding a clipboard for 2+ more years…I guess i respect it but shows how little of a gamer this guy is

  15. Retired…at least until training camp is over.
    This is what I saw in KO. Looks good at the beginning of the game when allowed to open it up. Lousy when under pressure or when crunch time comes and he’s trying to not make a mistake.
    Sounds like Marone too.
    Back to square one with EJ, Jeff Tuel and ???????

  16. The guy that Marrone didn’t want kept them relevant.

    That should tell you all you needed to know about Marrone.

  17. “I just have been going at it for 10 years and it’s just a family decision and I’ve decided to get home and be a dad and call it a day”- Good for you, Kyle! Enjoy your retirement!

  18. “Trivia answer: who was the first bills QB to win a game at Gillette stadium? Answer: Kyle freaking Orton”

    ——————————-

    Yeah like that was a real game. The competition committee will probably launch an investigation into what the Patriots did to keep from fielding a team that day.

  19. Totally respect him for putting a priority on his own family. Good for him, he’s accomplished more than any of us posting on this board.

    Happy for a guy who was just able to get a midlevel team above 0.500, better than the entire NFC South and most of the AFC South. If the Bills had played in the AFC North, they probably would have won the division. Let’s face it though, with the Pats benching 6 starters for the finale, he was not facing a team fighting for a playoff spot.

    For those who think being a QB, even a backup QB, is as easy as holding a clipboard for 8 months, clearly you have never played football. It’s a grind mentally and physically. You spend all year just trying to get strong and healthy only to smash your body to pieces during the season. Good on him for getting out and taking care of his family.

  20. There are decent mid-level QBs out there for the taking this offseason, on about the same level as Orton. You won’t pry Nick Foles from the Eagles, but Mark Sanchez is a free agent — sign both Sanchez and Brian Hoyer, let them duke it out in training camp. Neither will break the bank, and either could back up the other competently. Let EJ Manuel ride the pine for another season, or see if you can trade him for a third/fourth round pick.

    Jay Cutler is certainly another option (and there are ones I’m not mentioning, as well — not trying to make an exhaustive list, just trying to keep Bills fans from jumping off bridges today).

  21. Not a Bills fan, but the Bills could contend next year if they can find a good quarterback. Not a dig on Orton, he is serviceable. Someone up the thread mentioned Cutler. That would be a mistake.

    The problem the Bills will have is finding that guy. The NCAA is producing nothing as far as throwing quarterbacks. The Bills have great talent at wr, they can’t waste that on some gimmick system where they have a running back who throws once in awhile.

  22. He had the decency to announce it early so the Bills could make plans. Thanks for the year and thanks for the professionalism.

  23. Dang it all! There goes my great and original idea of a Cutler-Orton trade between Buffalo and Chicago!
    Best of luck to Mr.Orton, and it’s hard to believe, I, as a suffering Bears fan, would like to have him back. Ahhh nostalgia!

    Heck, I would almost take Rex Grossman back right now….Wait a minute. We do have Rex Grossman back!

  24. there’s options here. they could attempt to trade for one of the Redskins QBs (RG3 or Cousins). they could sign Sanchez or Hoyer or Mallett. i think their best bet would be attempt to trade for RG3 and if that fails, then go after Mallett.

  25. Orton is retiring but his mustache and neck beard will continue to play QB for the Bills in proxy

  26. After reading these comments I think the next GM for Jets could be coming from these comment boards.

  27. greysolon says: Dec 29, 2014 10:32 AM

    This “time to be a dad” thing just doesn’t cut it in football. The hours aren’t that long and you’re only on the road for 8 games a year. In baseball, dads are gone so long they barely know their kids.

    ———————————————————————-

    Tell that to the majority of great players in the NFL. You think their football work ends once the season is over? These guys live and breathe football, I can guarantee you Peyton and Brady are studying film within a week after the Super Bowl ends.

  28. Classy dude. Started the year on the couch, pulled the Bills out of a pinch and ended up having one of his best years of his career. No playoffs, but dude rides off into the Baton Rouge sunset winning his last game against Belichick.

    A career well played.

  29. This “time to be a dad” thing just doesn’t cut it in football. The hours aren’t that long and you’re only on the road for 8 games a year.
    ——–
    And that’s if your family is in the same city as you’re playing in. I don’t think he moved his family to Buffalo.

  30. Kyle Orton was simply a place holder for the Bills. Anybody who thinks he would be leading this team to where we want (superbowl) is out of their damn minds. Thanks for the season Kyle, even if you were staying we are still desperate for a QB.

  31. This list is not entirely accurate:
    wny49er says:
    Dec 29, 2014 10:28 AM
    The team needs to get some top evaluators of quarterbacks and find someone for the short-terms and prey in the next couple of years they can find their future in the draft.

    QB’s Bills could of drafted, but didn’t since Jim Kelly.

    1. Tom Brady
    This is based on hindsight, every team in the league including the Pats didn’t draft him five times.
    2. Ben Roethislisberger
    He was picked two picks before the Bills first pick
    3. Aaron Rogers
    The Bills didn’t have a first round pick that year.
    4. Joe Flacco
    true
    5. Russell Wilson
    True
    6. Tony Romo
    Again, this is hindsight, he was undrafted, so every team skipped over him.
    7. Andy Dalton
    True, but he is hardly a great QB
    8. Derek Carr
    True, but he hasn’t become a good QB, Yet.
    9. Alex Smith (could of traded for him 2013)
    True

  32. Kyle Orton is who he is, not very good.

    Robert Woods is better than Stevie.

    And as for Wny’s comment, every other NFL team could have had those QB’s.

    Some pretty stupid comments here.

    Also, Nick Foles? Yuck.

    Cutler, Bradford or Bust…that’s it.

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