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Friday, April 25, 2014
Missing workouts costs Kyle Orton $75,000

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas -- Having missed the first four days of the Dallas Cowboys' offseason program, quarterback Kyle Orton's base salary will decrease if he ends up playing in 2014, according to his contract.

Orton has a $75,000 de-escalator for failing to complete a percentage of offseason workouts, which will take his base salary from $3.25 million to $3.175 million for 2014.

It might be a sign of how serious Orton is considering not playing in 2014.

He participated in the offseason programs in each of his first two years with the Cowboys. Orton, 31, is in the final year of his contract. At the NFL owners meetings, agent David Dunn said Orton would play in 2014, and the Cowboys have long believed he would play because of his high base salary and the fact that he would have to pay back $3 million of the $5 million signing bonus he received in 2011 if he retired.

The offseason program is voluntary. The only mandatory part of it is a minicamp from June 17-19. If Orton skips that, he would face a fine of up to roughly $70,000.

The Cowboys signed veteran Caleb Hanie this week as insurance in case Orton's absence continues.

Orton is one of a number of players with a de-escalator clause in his contract for missing offseason workouts. The de-escalators range from $500,000 for players such as Jason Witten and Brandon Carr to $25,000 for long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur.