Apparently, Dallas Cowboys backup quarterback Kyle Orton is contemplating retirement. Football is not a game that athletes can play without full commitment.
Why spend time trying to convince a non-starter to come back?
The organization needs to close the door and move forward without him.
This is a confusing scenario because if Orton walks away he will be sacrificing $3 million of his $5 million signing bonus. The Cowboys wouldn’t have to pay Orton his $3.25 million base salary for this season either.
So the real question is, would they rather have the player or the cash?
I say take the cash.
Best case scenario, Tony Romo plays all 16 games and Orton isn’t depended on for any meaningful snaps. So basically, Dallas would be paying someone to hold a clipboard.
Why not let that guy be Brandon Weeden?
He would be at a much lower price, and he could continue to sit and watch. Nobody thinks Weeden will be the guy to replace Romo, but if he learns more he could fill in the No. 2 role.
Worst case scenario, Romo isn’t healthy and misses substantial time. It really wouldn’t matter who the backup would be at that point. The season would be headed nowhere fast without Romo. The Cowboys would be looking for another long-term solution going forward and Weeden and Orton wouldn’t be a part of those plans anyway.
Why not give Weeden a shot to see if you have something there?
People are placing way too much importance on Orton being there. He has been less than impressive for his entire career. He is considered to be one of the better second string quarterbacks in the NFL, but in the end that’s all he will ever be.
I would rather have the cash and explore other options.
Obviously the $6 million isn’t an incredible amount of money, but it could help the Cowboys on a couple of different levels.
They could use the cash to sign other players after training camp. Injuries happen as players go through training camp each year. The money could be saved as a safety net in that situation.
The other option is to use that money to sign long term deals with Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith. I would much rather ensure that those guys hang around for a long time instead of paying Orton to be a fan on the sidelines.
Orton sounds like he has other things he wants to pursue in his life. To seriously consider walking away from another $6 million tells me he has managed his money well to this point.
Orton’s heart isn’t in it and the Cowboys need to move forward with players who are fully committed. It’s the perfect time to mutually part ways and Dallas needs to take advantage of this opportunity.