Release of Orton Free's Up 3.25 Million In Cap Space
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters on Wednesday that the veteran backup quarterback has no intentions to call it quits and hopes to keep playing in 2014 -- just not for Dallas.
The Cowboys released Orton earlier in July, and it was believed by many analysts that he could end up stepping away from the game for good. According to Jones that more than likely will not be the case with Orton.
"Once he gave an indication that he was not going to retire, and come back with all the other aspects of not having participated in the spring work that we did, then it was decision time on our part," Jones said.
However, Orton won’t be playing for Dallas, which will move on with Brandon Weeden, Caleb Hanie and Dustin Vaughan as Tony Romo’s backups.
The owner acknowledged that Orton's reluctance to "be on the field" was "alive and well" in the team's decision to move on, but "it's important to understand that we were paying Kyle a lot of money."
By releasing Orton, the Cowboys got out from under his $3.25 million salary in 2014, but he gets to keep his signing bonus from Dallas.
Jones was asked about what he was planning on doing with the extra money after released Orton.
“It’s all fungible,” Jones said. “It will go to that and other things. A dollar that you’re not paying to a player or under one contract does not have a single place to go or a single goal. We know how that works. Certainly, to the extent that we can do some things with some key players, such as Dez Bryant, we can do some things with Tyron, we will do that. But it also keeps your powder dry to do something if you get an opportunity as you go into the season. I wouldn’t preclude that at all. We’re in the business of using those resources and can.”
Weeden, one of the Browns’ first-round picks just two years ago, got something of a vote of confidence from Jones on Wednesday, with the club’s owner saying his play helped the Cowboys feel comfortable parting ways with Orton, according to Nick Eatman of DallasCowboys.com.
Even after waiting until July to relase Orton, which cost the Cowboys the chance to keep either DeMarcus Ware or Jason Hatcher -- Jones is till confident that his team will be just fine in the 2014 NFL season.
“I know on paper -- on paper -- we’re a better team with our defense than we were, on paper, that was lined up against Philadelphia in our last game of the year,” Jones said.