The Kyle Orton era on the Broncos is officially over. According to ESPN, the Denver Broncos waived Orton because Broncos brass felt that they wouldn't play Orton for the remainder of the season. By waiving him now, another team could possibly pick up the $2.5 million remaining on his contract with the Broncos.
The Denver Post reports that team executive vice president John Elway made the announcement Tuesday. Orton declined to comment to The Denver Post.
Orton was the Broncos starter from 2009 until he was benched in favor of Tim Tebow at halftime against the Chargers early in the 2011 season. Orton went from Jay Cutler's replacement to Tim Tebow's backup to cut off the roster in just a couple of years with the Broncos.
But with all the injured quarterbacks this season, Orton may stand a good chance to be picked up by the Houston Texans, Chicago Bears or the Kansas City Chiefs, The Cover Two reports.
Although the waive marks an official end to the Broncos relationship with Orton, it shouldn't come as a surprise. Since Tim Tebow took over the starting quarterback position and led the team to a 4-1 record with Tebow at the helm, 5-5 for the season, SB Nation reports, Orton did not play a single minute.
Orton's brief 2011 season has been filled with controversy, from "Tebow!" chanting fans while number 15 was still a likely third-stringer, to a fan billboard in Denver urging Fox to yank Orton and play Tebow, to some words for Broncos fans that may not have won him any during the calls to play Tebow while Orton was still starting:
Thank God the people (fans) don’t make the decisions. That's really all I got to say about it. My last goal as quarterback is to win over the fans, that is my last goal.
The 2011 season even began with Orton being placed on the trading block.
Orton, who was traded to the Broncos from the Bears and who has said in the past that he would like to return to Chicago, may get a chance to go back to them again now that Cutler has broken his thumb and the Bears are in the midst of a playoff race, NBC ProFootballTalk reports.