- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kyle Orton missed the final day of the Dallas Cowboys' minicamp, which is not a surprise since he skipped Monday’s physical and practices on Wednesday and Thursday, and will face a fine of up to $69,455.
The team did not have contact with Orton this week but will assess the situation as they prepare for their July 22 flight for training camp in Oxnard, California. The first full practice is July 24.
“We anticipate him being at training camp,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Communication is a big part of that situation, trying to understand why he wasn’t here and taking the necessary work. ... What we have to do and need to do as an organization is penalize him the necessary amounts of fines and those kinds of things. We also just want to understand and communicate and try to figure out [how] this situation is going to play out that’s best for the Dallas Cowboys and for Kyle Orton.”
Garrett has not spoken with Orton for the past couple of months. They share the same agent, David Dunn, so the fact that communication is an issue is somewhat puzzling.
If Orton skips training camp, the Cowboys can put him on the refused to report list, which would open up a spot on the 90-man roster. Orton would also face a fine of $30,000 each day. According to the collective bargaining agreement, if Orton misses the first six days of training camp, he would have to forfeit up to 15 percent of his yearly signing bonus proration. After six days, he would forfeit 1 percent of the proration for each day, maxing out at 25 percent. There are further penalties if he continues to sit into the regular season.
Because Orton missed so many workouts, a $75,000 de-escalator in his contract kicked in. Totaling up the fines for missing minicamp and the physical, his base salary is now roughly $3.09 million.
The Cowboys do not want to cut Orton because they want him to be Tony Romo’s backup and they would not be able to recoup any of the signing bonus money ($3.4 million) given to him in 2012 and ’13. If he retires, then he would have to repay the team. That he was willing to risk the fine for skipping the minicamp was something of a surprise.
The stakes, however, will be raised once the team gets to training camp.