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Thursday (The curious career of Kyle Orton) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional football Updated: March 15, 2012 - 8:28 AM

We give up. We can no longer make sense of Kyle Orton's career. So we're going to lay out the chronological facts and see if you can:

*Drafted in the fourth round in 2005, pressed into duty as a rookie with the Bears, where he starts 15 games and helps lead them to a playoff berth before Rex Grossman steals his job in the postseason. Orton compiled a 10-5 record with by far his worst passer rating as a pro (59.7).

*Plays in only three games combined in 2006 and 2007, going 2-1 as a starter for the Bears.

*Has a 9-6 record as a starter with very respectable numbers in 2008 (almost 3,000 yards, 18 TD passes 12 INTs), but the Bears miss the playoffs.

*Is highly regarded enough to be sought by Denver in a trade that sends Jay Cutler to the Bears. He starts 6-0 with the Broncos in 2009.

*From that point forward, despite playing some of the best statistical football of his career, Orton goes 6-22 as a starter with Denver and loses his job to Tim [redacted] Tebow. Orton had 20 TDs, 9 INTs and an 87.5 passer rating in 2010 and went 3-10. Those passing numbers indicate he could be a top-15 starter in the NFL.

*He goes to the Chiefs in 2011 after being released by the Denver Tebows and goes 2-1 as a starter -- handing Green Bay its only *ahem* regular-season loss and also beating the Broncos.

*He signs a three-year contract Wednesday ... to be the backup in Dallas behind Tony Romo? Orton is hardly great, but he's a 29-year-old QB with 69 career starts in a league desperate for decent QBs. He couldn't even get himself into a situation where he was battling for a starting spot? Just the latest development in a very strange career.

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