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.