Chiefs Claim Kyle Orton

Chiefs Claim Kyle Orton

In a move that didn't surprise many, the Chiefs moved swiftly Tuesday placing a claim on recently released Denver Broncos quarterback, Kyle Orton. Wednesday afternoon, the NFL awarded Kansas City Orton, who will have six games to prove himself.

If Orton is upset about being claimed by the Chiefs, I wouldn't place too much stock into his objection. After all, he's had a rough season in Denver. He was the better quarterback in training camp but eventually lost his starting role to Tim Tebow.

Though Tebow has proven to be a worthy starter, he's still a gimmick quarterback. Pure pocket passers like Orton aren't easy to come by. The Chiefs were able to get him for the remainder of his 2011 contract, or roughly $2.5 million. Should he become a free agent the Chiefs will get a compensatory draft pick – likely a third or fourth rounder.

However Warpaint has been told Orton would like to extend his deal in Kansas City to soften the blow that he was unable to return to Chicago to play with his former team. Before the start of the 2012 season, Orton was traded to the Bears as part of the Jay Cutler trade.

In Kansas City, assuming he starts Sunday Night at Arrowhead against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Orton could find himself in another quarterback quandary.

When the Chiefs placed quarterback Matt Cassel on injured reserve before Monday night's game at New England, they shut down his 2011 season. Now with the addition of Orton, his future is in a bit of doubt. If Orton plays well over the final six games in Kansas City, he could be the starter next season. That would give the Chiefs options with their first round pick next April. They could fill some needs rather than spend that top pick on a young quarterback.

If Orton lights it up in Kansas City, Cassel (who is only on the books for $5.5 million in 2012) could be cut or traded. That would be ironic when you factor in that the Broncos, under former head coach Josh McDaniels, tried to acquire Cassel from the Patriots before Cutler was dealt to the Bears.

However it plays out, you have to give the Chiefs credit for not throwing in the white towel for the remainder of the 2011 season. Currently they stand in last place in the AFC West, but they still have games remaining against Oakland and Denver. Orton will end the season in his former stadium in a game that could determine who wins the division.

Either way, Sunday night's nationally televised game at home against the Steelers suddenly takes on some intrigue. Orton's addition should provide a spark in attendance and give the Chiefs some positive attention.

Kansas City's season has been spiraling out of control, but now the players and the coaches can rally around the addition of Orton. It should give the Chiefs a boost to finish the season strong.

In reality, the Chiefs aren't out of the AFC West race. With the addition of Orton, they are now firmly back in the hunt.

Orton, who is hoping to get a new contract from the Chiefs or shop his services in the offseason, can accomplish quite a bit if he can come in and be the savior for this franchise.

Time will tell if he can do that. But for the sake of the Chiefs' fans base, let's hope Orton comes in with the proper chip on his shoulder and it pays huge dividends for he and his new team.

Can Kyle Orton change the Chiefs fortunes in 2011?

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