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Kyle Orton Gaining Interest from Chicago Bears

Aug 3 2014, 11:32pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

Kyle Orton Gaining Interest from Chicago Bears
Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery is open to re-acquiring former Bears backup quarterback Kyle Orton.

Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery is open to re-acquiring former Bears backup quarterback Kyle Orton

Emery made the revelation on ESPN Radio on Aug. 3, per ESPN's Michael C. Wright: 

"Uncertainty clouds the backup quarterback position at Chicago Bears training camp with Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clausen competing for the No. 2 job. So it's no surprise general manager Phil Emery expressed an interest Saturday in potentially bringing back Kyle Orton. 

"'I have great respect for Kyle,' Emery told Jeff Dickerson on ESPN Radio. 'When I was in Kansas City, we brought him in. That's the famous claim the Bears figured they would get (in 2011). We claimed him. He came in. He started against the Bears; got hurt first or second play. At the time in Kansas City, we won the game. 

"The next week, he starts against Green Bay, an undefeated Green Bay team (which) had the longest winning streak in football at that point. (He) beat them; beat them in Kansas City. Great leadership skills, guys really like playing for him, big arm. So the skill set is there. But as far as where he's going in his career...that we don't know.'

"Orton was preparing to play his ninth season in the NFL when the Dallas Cowboys released him just before the start of training camp. The release came after Orton skipped Dallas' offseason program while contemplating retirement. 

"Orton reportedly spent a few days in Dallas meeting with club officials, but the Cowboys ultimately decided to release him. During those meetings, Orton told team officials he would show up to training camp. But throughout the offseason, Orton reportedly had cut off all communication with Cowboys officials. 

"Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said just before the quarterback's release that Orton intended to play in 2014, but many around the league believe Orton will retire. 

"'(There's) a lot of rumors in terms of him retiring,' Emery said. 'I certainly know that if he had an interest in playing, that would be out of the league. We're extremely excited about Jay (Cutler), and we're extremely excited about Jay (Cutler), and we're extremely excited about the competition we have for the backups. If we see a player at quarterback or any other position that can help us, we'll certainly take a look.'

"Since losing Orton in the 2009 trade that brought Cutler to Chicago, the Bears have tried twice to bring him back. When Cutler suffered a broken thumb in 2011, the Bears put in a waiver claim for Orton, who was awarded to the (Kansas City) Chiefs. At the time, Emery was Kansas City's director of college scouting. 

"Emery tried to sign Orton during free agency in 2012, but the quarterback opted to play for the Cowboys. 

"'There's an interest on our end on looking at any player that can help this team, and we continue to do that,' Emery said. 'We want to keep looking at players that can really have a legitimate chance to make our team. If there's a quarterback, a wideout, a defensive person -- a DB that could help us -- we're certainly gonna look at him.'

"Orton certainly falls into that category, provided he still wants to play." 

On July 25, The Dallas Morning News' Brandon George probes deeper into Orton's release from the Cowboys: 

"Just two weeks before training camp was to start, Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson said he was preparing as if backup quarterback Kyle Orton would be in California with the team for practices. 

"A week ago, however, the Cowboys chose to move on from Orton by releasing the veteran after he chose to sit out the entire offseason and not practice with his teammates while contemplating retirement.

"Orton's release came after he spent a few days in Dallas about two weeks ago visiting with club officials, Wilson said.

"Within the last couple of weeks, I was told that Kyle was wanting to come back now and was going to show up to training camp,' Wilson said. 'They decided not to bring him back. But he did intend on coming to camp.'

"No one seems to really know what Orton's mindset was this offseason as he tried to decide whether to retire from the NFL or come back and play again. That's because he wasn't communicating with club officials, for the most part.

"That included Wilson, who was close to Orton. Wilson played a big role in the Chicago Bears drafting Orton in 2005 and a big role in the Cowboys signing Orton in 2012. Wilson was the Bears' quarterbacks coach Orton's first two seasons in Chicago and has been Orton's quarterbacks coach the last two years in Dallas.

"Despite their long relationship, Orton cut off communication with Wilson this offseason as the Cowboy's quarterbacks coach tried to figure out exactly what the team's backup quarterback was thinking.

"'He would not return my phone call or text throughout the whole spring,' Wilson said. 'I talked to his agent (David Dunn) and he said, 'Let's just let it go and it would play out then.' I'm assuming that he was going to retire up until a week ago, that he would possibly come back and play.'

"Wilson was finally able to get a feel, somewhat, for Orton's mindset about two weeks ago when he came to Dallas to meet with club officials. Orton sat down with Wilson to talk.

 

"Wilso said Orton was in good physical shape and that wasn't an issue with him reporting to camp."  

The 31-year-old Orton has thrown for 15,019 yards, 83 touchdowns and 59 interceptions on a 79.9 passer rating in 75 career regular-season games for the Bears, Denver Broncos, Chiefs and Cowboys, per ESPN stats

For more of the hottest sports news, log on to Sport Balla today. 

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