With the No. 2 quarterback position still up for grabs between Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clausen in the Chicago Bears’ training camp, general manager Phil Emery has expressed some interest in adding nine-year veteran Kyle Orton to the mix for a second tour of duty in the Windy City.
The fourth-round draft pick was traded to the Denver Broncos in 2009, along with the Bears’ 2009 first- and third-round picks, and first-round pick in 2010, for Jay Cutler, who’s the Bears’ current starting quarterback.
Orton, who played four seasons with the Bears after being drafted by the organization in 2005, last played with the Dallas Cowboys as a backup behind Tony Romo. Orton was recently released by the Cowboys, and is on the verge of announcing his retirement.
The only good thing that I see in adding Orton to the competition is that he has more experience than both Palmer and Clausen combined. The chance of lightening striking twice with last season’s performance of Chicago’s backup quarterback is slim-to-none, especially with inexperience. So having a seasoned veteran behind the injury-prone Cutler would be smart. However, Orton’s uncertainty of continuing his football career throws up a red flag.
Overall, even though the Bears’ backup quarterback situation is uncertain, I think it would be best if Orton is not signed. There’s already enough attention on the quarterback competition, and getting acclimated to a new offensive playbook would only make the situation more complicated for Chicago’s offensive coaching staff, as well as Orton.