The Chiefs have been awarded QB Kyle Orton on waivers, taking him away from Chicago, a team that it appeared wanted to reunite with their old QB.
Adam Brandt of the National Football Post reports the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears put in waiver claims on Orton, but the Chiefs were higher on the waiver wire order and were awarded his rights.
The Chiefs lost starting quarterback Matt Cassel to a season-ending hand injury, placing him on injured reserve before Monday night’s 34-3 loss to the New England Patriots. Journeyman Tyler Palko made his first NFL start that night, completing 24-of-37 pass attempts for 230 yards and three interceptions.
Orton was earning a $4.5 million base salary from the Broncos, which has $1.588 million remaining over the final six weeks of the regular season. Barring a contract extension, Orton will be an unrestricted free agent in 2012.
The 4-6 Chiefs are two games behind the Oakland Raiders in the AFC West and host the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday before back-to-back road games against the Bears and New York Jets. The Chiefs return to Arrowhead to host the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers before closing out their regular season schedule with a home game against the Raiders and a road game against Orton’s former team, the Broncos.
A 2004 fourth-round pick out of Purdue by the Chicago Bears, Orton started 33 games over five seasons with the Bears, completing 55.3 percent of 913 pass attempts for 5,319 yards with 30 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. Traded to the Denver Broncos as part of the Jay Cutler trade, Orton started 33 games, completed over 60 percent of his pass attempts and for 8,434 yards with 49 touchdowns and 28 interceptions.
For his career, Orton has started 66 of 67 games, completed 1,225-of-2,107 pass attempts for 13,753 yards with 79 touchdowns and 55 interceptions.
Orton, 29, opened 2011 as the Broncos’ starting quarterback, completing 58.7 percent of 155 pass attempts for 979 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions, but was replaced by 2010 first-round pick Tim Tebow following Denver’s 1-4 start to the season.