Should the Colts claim Kyle Orton?

November, 23, 2011
11/23/11
7:56
AM ET
The Indianapolis Colts can have quarterback Kyle Orton if they want him.

The question is, should they want him?

Orton
Why they should: They stand to end up with with a historically bad record, just six weeks away from 0-16. They are deciding whether to move forward with Curtis Painter or change up to Dan Orlovsky. Orton is, without a doubt, a better quarterback than either of them. But he’d come in needing to learn what the Colts do, or they’d need to bend what they do to him. And that’s a lot to take on at this stage of the season.

The Colts aren’t big benders. Claiming Orton would be doing something different. It’s been a season when many critics have wondered why the Colts wouldn’t do something -- anything -- different to give themselves a better chance at winning. Grabbing Orton would be just that.

Why they shouldn’t: Frankly, if Orton came in and helped the Colts win a couple games, he could screw up the team’s draft position. The Colts have a pretty strong hold on the No. 1 overall pick in the April draft, and the consensus around the league is that Stanford’s Andrew Luck is the best quarterback to come out of college in some time.

I’m sure there is a salary-cap issue, but if the Colts really wanted Orton, they could find a way.

My verdict: Why not? A claim would make a statement to Colts fans that the team is still interested in improving and is unafraid of making a bold move.

That said, I’d be surprised if they do it. Staying the course has been a big deal for Indianapolis, and they’ve talked as if staying steady will win them something even if it means they don’t win a game.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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