Chicago Bears Countdown to Kickoff: 18 Days with Kyle Orton

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Kyle Orton serves as high-end backup after Chicago Bears stint

Orton joined the Broncos almost as the de facto starter after Cutler's departure, but he played well in his first season away from the Midwest. Over his first two years, Orton started 18 games, helping the team post an 11-17 record during that span. Each of those years saw Orton pass for over 3,600 yards, over 30 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions or less.

However, by the 2011 season, the Broncos were inclined to start quarterback Tim Tebow, who was entering his second season as a pro. Over the first eight weeks of the season, Orton started in five games before turning the offense over to Tebow. Subsequently, Orton was released by the team after eight games and was claimed by the division rival Kansas City Chiefs. The Bears actually attempted to claim Orton after Cutler faced injury during the year, but the Chiefs had priority and successfully added the Purdue standout.

He started in four games for the Chiefs where he posted a 2-1 record, but he was not resigned during the following offseason. Orton elected to sign with the Dallas Cowboys, where he served primarily as a backup behind veteran Tony Romo. He started just one game in two seasons with the Cowboys before being released following the 2013 season.

For the 2014 season, Orton signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills, where the plan was to back up quarterback E.J. Manuel. However, the West Virginia first-rounder struggled, and Orton was named the starter for the team's final 12 games, leading the team to a 7-5 record as a starer en route to earning votes for the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year.