Photo: Scott Boehm/Getty Images
If you could create the average NFL quarterback in a lab, it’d be Kyle OrtonHis QB rating has been between 74 and 88 in every season except his rookie year. And he’ll always win between six and 10 games on a decent team.
But in the NFL, average isn’t good enough.
Orton has been replaced by quarterbacks with stronger arms and more impressive resumes time and time again throughout his career.
Yet with so many terrible quarterbacks starting in the NFL, Orton’s consistent mediocrity has become his greatest attribute.
Chicago and Houston were both trying to pick him up before Kansas City added him to their roster last week.
It’s a strange duality that’s defined his career: while his own team is always trying to replace him, other teams are always trying to pick him up.
The NFL didn't buy it, the Bears didn't draft him until the fourth round in 2005. Surprisingly he started 15 games as a rookie, going 10-5 before Rex Grossman took his job in Week 16
Grossman remained starting QB in 2006. Orton, despite leading the team to the playoffs in his rookie year, was demoted to third-string
Orton languished on the bench until he saw some time in late 2007 with Grossman hurt. In 2008, he beat out Grossman for the starting job, and had his best season of his career... But yet another strong-armed QB was about to take his spot
In Denver he finally had the starting job to himself, and finished with a solid 21 TDs and 12 picks in 2009
Orton played perfectly average football on a bad Broncos team in 2010. But when he got hurt in Week 13 and Tebow took the reins, the writing was on the wall
A month into 2011, Orton once again drew the short straw in a QB controversy as Tebow took his starting job
Kansas City had their own QB issues when Matt Cassel went down with a season-ending injury. So they scooped claimed Orton when Denver put him on waivers
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