Kyle Orton

Dolphins Considered Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow

A common theme appears to have developed in Miami this week in the Dolphins’ search for quarterback help after Ryan Tannehill‘s injury: familiarity with coach Adam Gase.

As a result, some interesting names were considered. Although it’s not certain how seriously these considerations were, Armando Salguero reports (on Twitter) at some point in the process this week former Gase Broncos charges Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow were discussed.

Salguero also confirms the Dolphins’ previously reported interest in Colin Kaepernick, adding more names were likely bandied about during this emergency process (Twitter link). He also notes (via Twitter) some of the names were discarded quickly.

While the Dolphins landed their preferred target in convincing Jay Cutler to come out of retirement, their range of candidates is obviously notable. Set to turn 30 next week, Tebow has not played a down of regular-season football since 2012 and is currently in the New York Mets’ farm system. A historically inaccurate passer, Tebow did lead the Broncos to seven wins in 2011 and a dramatic playoff triumph. Gase was coaching Denver’s quarterbacks at the time, but OC Mike McCoy adjusted the scheme dramatically to fit Tebow’s unique skill set.

Orton, 34, played in a more comparable system to what Gase used with Cutler in Chicago and with the Dolphins in 2016. The passer opened three straight seasons as the Broncos’ starter before Tebow replaced him midway through ’11, and Denver primarily used a three-wide shotgun set for the less mobile signal-caller. Orton, however, retired after the 2014 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys To Audition Ponder, Flynn, Johnson

8:30pm: In addition to Johnson, the Cowboys will also audition Christian Ponder, sources tell Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram (on Twitter). Matt Flynn will also audition on Tuesday, per Josina Anderson of (on Twitter).

Meanwhile, Kyle Orton is not a real possibility for the Cowboys thanks to his fractured relationship with the club and his own bad personal relationship with Romo, Ed Werder of tweets.

5:05pm: The Cowboys have reached out to a few veteran quarterbacks, according to’s Jason La Canfora (on Twitter). Dallas called reps for both Jason Campbell and Josh Johnson, among others, per La Canfora. Johnson will work out for Dallas, but Campbell will remain in his state of quasi-retirement for now.

While Dallas scopes out the market for signal callers, La Canfora (link) hears that the Saints do not plan to do the same at this time. Of course, that could change with starter Drew Brees potentially out for several games.

In related news, coach Jason Garrett says they’ll consider putting Tony Romo on IR-DTR as the week goes on, James Palmer of tweets. Nothing is decided on that front yet, however, and the upside right now is that Romo’s tests revealed zero ligament damage. Romo fractured his clavicle on Sunday, the same injury that caused him to miss the final 10 games of the season in 2010.

NFC East Notes: Romo, Cowboys, JPP, RGIII

No NFL division looks more in flux through two weeks than the NFC East, where the Eagles and Giants have yet to win a game, and the Cowboys will be without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant for the next several weeks. Earlier today, we asked you to weigh in with your thoughts on how the East race will play out over the next 15 weeks. Now, we’ll round up a few more Monday items from out of the division…

  • Speaking of Romo, he won’t have to undergo surgery on his fractured left clavicle, a source tells Zac Jackson of Pro Football Talk. That doesn’t significantly alter the projected recovery timetable for the Cowboys quarterback, who still figures to miss about eight weeks. He’s a candidate for Dallas’ IR-DTR slot.
  • With Romo out, the Cowboys are evaluating whether or not to sign a veteran signal-caller to back up Brandon Weeden, according to Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter), who says the team considered Kyle Orton. Orton is still finished with football, however.
  • According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), there’s some concern in Jason Pierre-Paul‘s camp that if the Giants defensive end reports to the team, New York will place him on the NFI list and be able to franchise him again next year at the same price. The CBA isn’t 100% clear on how this situation would work, but if the two sides disagree on JPP’s ability to play this season, it could create some contract issues.
  • In another video for Bleacher Report, Cole suggests that Washington quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins aren’t communicating much at all these days. Per Cole, that doesn’t reflect particularly well on RGIII, who reportedly has a history of not being on the same page as everyone in the locker room.
  • Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said after yesterday’s loss that everyone will be evaluated, hinting that roster changes could be coming. But it doesn’t sound like the team will make any major moves. “The guys we have are the guys we’re playing with for the remainder of the season,” Kelly said today, referring in part to the offensive line’s struggles (Twitter link). “It’s not a change thing.”

Extra Points: Brady, Orton, Seahawks

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady issued a Facebook statement Friday in response to Judge Richard Berman’s decision on Thursday to overturn the four-game suspension the NFL handed him for his role in DeflateGate. Here are a couple snippets from the full statement, which can be found here (courtesy of ESPN’s Josina Anderson):

“While I am pleased to be eligible to play, I am sorry our league had to endure this. I don’t think it has been good for our sport – to a large degree, we have all lost.”

“I love the NFL. It is a privilege to be a member of the NFL community and I will always try to do my best in representing my team and the league in a way that would make all members of this community proud.”

More from around the league as Saturday’s 53-man roster deadline draws closer:

  • Multiple teams – including the Jets – reached out to retired quarterback Kyle Orton this summer about a possible comeback, but he spurned their advances. Orton told Chris Trapasso of that retirement had been on his mind for the past couple seasons, so he finally walked away from the game for good (Twitter link). Buffalo coaxed Orton out of a brief retirement last year and he proceeded to throw 18 touchdowns against 10 interceptions, giving him 101 and 69, respectively, for his career. The former fourth-round pick played for five different franchises after entering the NFL in 2005.
  • With Marshawn Lynch, the newly added Fred Jackson and Robert Turbin on the Seahawks’ running back depth chart, Christine Michael could be the odd man out. The team is exploring trade options for him, reports Jason La Canfora of (Twitter link).
  • The Eagles are shopping second-year cornerback Jaylen Watkins, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
  • The Texans are mulling signing another quarterback after third-stringer Tom Savage suffered a severely sprained throwing shoulder Thursday, Wilson writes. “It’s a discussion that we’re having, whether to go out and possibly get a third quarterback or maybe have a quarterback on the practice squad, something like that,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “We haven’t made a final decision on that.”

Kyle Orton Announces Retirement

After serving as the Bills’ starting quarterback for most of the 2014 season, Kyle Orton has decided to call it a career, the team announced today in a press release. Orton will retire from the NFL after spending 10 seasons in the league.

“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.

Orton, 32, flirted with retirement a year ago as well, and his apparent willingness to end his career at that point led to the Cowboys releasing him from his contract, at which point he inked a new deal with the Bills. In this case, he appears to be more committed to ending his career, despite the fact that he has a year remaining on his contract. By retiring, Orton will no longer be eligible to earn his $5.4MM non-guaranteed base salary for 2015, though he’ll still count for $1.5MM in dead money against the Bills’ cap.

Assuming Orton doesn’t play another NFL game, he’ll finish his career with a 42-40 record as a starter, completing 59.5% of his career passes, with 18,037 yards, 101 touchdowns, and 69 interceptions. His best stastical seasons came in 2009 and 2010 for the Broncos, when he topped 20 touchdown passes and 3,600 passing yards for the only two times in his career.

As for the Bills, they’ll likely be on the lookout for a new signal-caller this offseason, since E.J. Manuel is currently the only quarterback on the roster. Unfortunately for Buffalo, the team sent its 2015 first-round pick to Cleveland in this year’s Sammy Watkins trade, so if the team hopes to land a potential starting QB, it’ll have to be either in free agency or later in the draft.

East Notes: Finnegan, Rolle, Pats, Bills

It’s a crucial weekend in the NFL’s two East divisions, as the top two teams in both the AFC East and the NFC East will square off, with the Patriots hosting the Dolphins and the Cowboys looking to avenge their Thanksgiving loss against the Eagles. While we look forward to those two matchups and others, let’s check out the latest out of the league’s East divisions….

  • Dolphins cornerback Cortland Finnegan tells Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald that he’ll consider retiring after this season, indicating that he’ll probably either return to Miami or call it a career, rather than playing for another team.
  • After Tom Coughlin expressed his displeasure with Antrel Rolle‘s celebration following a Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie touchdown on Sunday, the veteran safety didn’t show any real remorse. Considering Rolle is one of the defensive leaders for the 4-9 Giants, it’s no wonder that Coughlin has had trouble getting his team to play disciplined football, writes Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News, suggesting that the club should think twice about retaining the free-agent-to-be this offseason.
  • Four mid-season pickups are playing key roles for the Patriots as they make their push toward a first-round bye, writes Christopher Price of Two of those players, Akeem Ayers and Jonathan Casillas, were acquired via trade, making them rarities for the NFL — deadline acquisitions that are actually making a real impact.
  • The Bills are sticking with Kyle Orton at quarterback down the stretch as they attempt to sneak into the playoffs, writes Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. Orton has an option year on his contract for 2015, so it’ll be interesting to see how he finishes the year, since it may dictate whether or not he returns to Buffalo in 2015.

Quarterback Notes: Brees, Kaepernick, Orton

With the Saints‘ salary cap situation in disarray, they could look to star quarterback Drew Brees for some relief going forward. Brees is signed through 2016, so a restructuring is unlikely, writes Jason Fitzgerald of Having a $26.4MM cap hit in 2015 puts the team in a tough spot, and based off his play this season, Fitzgerald can’t see the team justifying an extension for him (via Twitter).

What the team is most likely hoping for is a deal similar to the one Tom Brady took with the Patriots, according to Fitzgerald (via Twitter). He described the contract as an “off into the sunset” type of deal, presumably where Brees would take a lower annual salary freeing the team up to spend elsewhere.

Here are a few other notes on quarterback contracts that seem impactful:

  • With the 49ers likely to miss the playoffs after their loss to the Raiders, Colin Kaepernick will have a de-escalator in his contract that will cost him $2MM in 2015, reports Joel Corry of CBS Sports (via Twitter). He was set to make $12.4MM next season, but will see that figure drop to $10.4MM without a playoff appearance.
  • As Kyle Orton has likely failed to lead the Bills to the playoffs, the team could turn back to EJ Manuel this season or next. If the team went with Manuel in 2015, Orton wouldn’t be an expensive backup. He can void his deal, but if he doesn’t he will only count $1.5MM in guaranteed money against the cap next season, according to Mike Rodak of (via Twitter).
  • For teams still looking to draft a quarterback this offseason, the Raiders’ victory over the 49ers has shaken up the potential draft order. With three games to go, the Buccaneers currently hold the top pick, based on record and strength of schedule, according to Ryan McCrystal of (via Twitter). Following them are the Titans, Jaguars, Jets, and Raiders, respectively.

AFC East Links: Patriots, Idzik, Orton

Linebacker Jonathan Casillas was acquired by the Patriots earlier this week, and the 27-year-old is doing everything in his power to play this weekend. It isn’t easy switching teams midseason, and the six-year veteran realizes that he has a lot of catching up to do (via Lee Schechter of

“I feel like I’m cramming for a final in college,” Casillas said. “I’m happy to be here and blessed to have this opportunity to play for a great organization.

“This is my fourth [defensive] coordinator in four years since Gregg [Williams], so five [defensive] coordinators in five years, and that’s the tough part — learning all of these different defensive schemes — not really transitioning city to city because a city is a city. I can get acclimated to my surrounding place. My job learning the Xs and Os about what I’m going to do every day and the verbiage and the communication, that’s the difficult part.”

Casillas was also asked how he felt being traded from the last-place Buccaneers to the place-first Patriots:

“Do I really have to answer that question?”

Let’s check out some more notes from the AFC East…

  • Recently released linebacker Deontae Skinner has cleared waivers and is expected to re-sign with the Patriots, tweets the Boston Globe’s Shalise Manza Young. The rookie was released by New England yesterday following the signing of Alan Branch.
  •’s Mike Reiss reacts to the Patriots handling of the trade deadline, writing that Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck could have helped, but the price was likely too high. Reiss notes that he never bought into the Vincent Jackson/Doug Martin rumors.
  • Jets supporters seemingly haven’t been too thrilled with the work of general manager John Idzik, and some fans have created a website called (via John Healy of the New York Daily News).
  • Mike Rodak of examines the Bills options for handling Kyle Orton‘s contract should the quarterback lead the team to the playoffs. The veteran currently has $5.4MM base salary for next season (with a $7MM cap hit), but he has the opportunity to void his contract immediately following the Super Bowl. If Orton decides to stick around, Rodak believes the team’s two options are to either extend him to a long-term contract or offer him a more lucrative, one-year deal.

Bills Name Kyle Orton Starting QB

Bills head coach Doug Marrone announced today that veteran signal-caller Kyle Orton will take over for E.J. Manuel as the team’s starting quarterback beginning this coming week (Twitter link). According to Marrone, the Bills need more production at the position and believe that Orton gives the club the best opportunity to win immediately (Twitter links).

While Manuel helped lead the Bills to a pair of wins early in the season, he has often struggled to make accurate throws to his receivers, and is completing just 58.0% of his passes. Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required) rank the second-year quarterback just 35th out of 37 qualified passers, ahead of only Jake Locker and Geno Smith.

Orton signed with the Bills late in the offseason to a contract that suggested the team believed he may have to start at some point. As Brian McIntyre observes (via Twitter), Orton can earn up to $6MM this season if he plays more than 50% of Buffalo’s snaps in 2014.

This will be an interesting situation to keep an eye on, on a number of levels. Orton clearly isn’t a long-term solution for the Bills at quarterback, and if Manuel isn’t either, the team may need to draft a signal-caller in 2015 to develop. However, the club dealt its 2015 first-round pick to Cleveland in the Sammy Watkins trade, so unless the Bills can somehow trade back into the first round, it’s unlikely they’ll have a shot at a future star.

Additionally, the QB change signals that the front office and coaching staff are very aware that the Bills are in win-now mode with a new ownership group taking over. If the move backfires and leads to another losing season in Buffalo, major changes could be coming in the offseason.

Sunday Roundup: Harbaugh, Gordon, Manuel

After Michigan’s embarrassing loss to Notre Dame on Saturday evening, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wondered if Michigan fans would begin to dream of 49ers‘ head coach Jim Harbaugh‘s return to Ann Arbor to coach his alma mater. We detailed Harbaugh’s contract situation last month, and as Florio writes, “with no new contract in place and no plan to try to work one out until after the season, Michigan could opt to chase Harbaugh.”

In a series of tweets, Ian Rapoport of reports that some 49ers sources believe that Harbaugh is already losing his locker room as the club’s veterans are wondering if their coach is really “all in.” Rapoport adds that some veterans were annoyed that Harbaugh took the team to Baltimore for a few days to hold joint practices with his brother, John, head coach of the Ravens. Between those rumblings and the fact that an extension was not reached in the offseason, Rapoport wonders if this will be Jim Harbaugh’s final season in San Francisco.

Now for some more notes from around the league as the season gets underway in full force:

  • Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports tweets that the 49ers will re-sign special teams standout Kassim Osgood tomorrow. Joel Corry notes (via Twitter) that the team did the same thing with Osgood last season (release him at the end of camp only to re-sign him after Week 1) and will get termination pay relief again.
  • Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer writes that, under the terms of the new drug policy being discussed by the league and the player’s union, Josh Gordon could be reinstated and back on the field for the Browns as early as next week, though he might still be suspended two games in November for his pending DWI charge.
  • ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports that there are some within the Bills organization who are skeptical of EJ Manuel‘s ability to succeed, and the team is not afraid to make a switch to Kyle Orton.