Report: Cowboys set to release ex-Bears QB Kyle Orton

Report: Cowboys set to release ex-Bears QB Kyle Orton
July 15, 2014, 9:30 pm
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Scott Krinch

It looks like Dallas Cowboys quarterback Kyle Orton will get his wish after all.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Cowboys will cut ties with the veteran signal-caller.

The two sides had been in a standoff since April when Orton was a no-show for the team's voluntary workouts after hinting at retirement earlier in the offseason.

[MORE: Bears Camping Out ’14: A fairly good OL needs 'next step']

Ex-Cleveland Browns first-round pick Brandon Weeden, who the Cowboys signed to a two-year deal in March, is expected to be Tony Romo's backup in Dallas.

The 31-year-old Orton was set to make $3.25 million during the 2014 season. Had the Cowboys waited and let Orton retire, they could have forced him to pay back $3 million of his $5 million signing bonus.

Now, Orton's signing bonus will give the Cowboys a salary cap hit of more than $1 million in 2014 and more then $2 million for the 2015 season.

Dallas originally signed Orton to a three-year, $10.5 million contract in March of 2012 to be Romo's backup. Orton played sparingly during his first two seasons, but was forced to start in the Cowboys' biggest game of the season in 2013 after Romo underwent back surgery. With a playoff spot on the line in Week 17 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Orton passed for 358 yards and two touchdowns, but threw a season-ending interception on the Cowboys' last drive that sealed a 24-22 victory for the Eagles.

[RELATED: Bears Camping Out ’14: Search continues for Forte backup]

However, if Orton decides he's not ready to hang up his pads, there will likely be plenty of suitors for his services.

NFL Insider Pat Kirwan listed a few teams that could possibly go after Orton, including his former NFC North team.

The Bears seem content to go into preseason with Jordan Palmer (0 career starts) and Jimmy Clausen (10 career starts) as the candidates to backup Jay Cutler.

If either struggle during the preseason — and Orton doesn't retire — it wouldn't be surprising to see Phil Emery give Orton a call.

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