Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Will Kyle Orton become a Chief?

By Bill Williamson

Will the Kansas City Chiefs put in a claim on Kyle Orton?

We will find out Wednesday. I think it’s a possibility. In the past few hours since Denver waived the quarterback, I spoke to several people who believe the Chiefs will make a claim.

There are reasons why Kansas City could claim Orton. It could use a veteran signal-caller, it could absorb the cap hit it would take to get Orton and it is just two games out of the AFC West race.

If the 4-6 Chiefs still think they can make a run at the playoffs, they might — particularly given that they have the toughest remaining schedule in the league — be inclined to turn the offense over to Orton rather than stick with the inexperienced Tyler Palko, who made his first NFL start in the Chiefs’ 34-3 loss at New England on Monday night. Starter Matt Cassel is out for the season with a broken hand. Palko’s backup is rookie Ricky Stanzi.

If the Chiefs want Orton, they might be able to get him. Chicago has been mentioned as a landing spot for Orton — who was traded to Denver by the Bears in the Jay Cutler deal of 2009 — because Cutler is out for several weeks. The Chiefs have waiver priority over the Bears because they have a worse record. However, if a team like the Colts (who don’t have much cap room) or Redskins want Orton, the Chiefs would be blocked.

Still, there is no guarantee Kansas City will consider Orton. It could be interested in seeing what Palko – and maybe even Stanzi – can do with Cassel out. Still, if the Chiefs want a veteran, Orton presents an interesting option.

If the Chiefs do claim Orton, it would setup an intriguing Week 17 battle in Denver between the two teams. We’ll find out Wednesday if that juicy matchup comes to fruition.