Will the Bears claim Orton?
With news breaking late this afternoon that the Denver Broncos have waived Kyle Orton, many in Chicago are asking if the Bears are going to put in a claim for him.
I would say the answer is yes, but I would also say the chances of the Bears actually getting Orton are minimal.
After the trade deadline, vested veterans like Orton have to go through waivers and with at least 25 teams ahead of the Bears with claiming rights I doubt he would get to them. Teams like Seattle, Indianapolis and Miami, who have a need at quarterback, may put in a claim (Of course, Indy may not because Orton may be able to win games for them and take them out of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes).
The only thing that may prevent a club from claiming Orton is his contract. When you claim a player on waivers you also claim his contract. If Orton clears waivers then he becomes a free agent and his contract becomes null and void.
Orton does not have a history with Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz, but he does have one with Lovie Smith and there is a great deal of mutual respect between the two. Though the Martz offense is difficult to learn, there aren’t too many players out there that have the aptitude of an Orton. He should be able to pick up the offense fairly quickly.
Going back to the Bears may not be in the best situation for the long term for Orton but it could be ideal for him for the remainder of the season. If Caleb Hanie falters then Orton would be in a situation where he could save the season for the Bears. The Bears would then have the opportunity to trade Orton in the offseason if they so desired or keep him as the primary backup to Cutler. It will be an interesting 24 hours as we wait to find out what happens.