Is It Time For the Cowboys To Trade QB Kyle Orton?

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After spending the 2011 season split between two different franchises, free agent quarterback Kyle Orton made plans to visit several different teams. His first stop was Valley Ranch. It also became his last stop as Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager, Jerry Jones, rolled out the welcome mat and proceeded to dump out a huge amount cash upon it for Orton. Thereby making him the highest paid back-up in the league. Orton signed immediately and never made it anywhere else. But now that quality quarterback play is at a premium, is it time for the Cowboys to cash in themselves by trading him?

Aug 4, 2013; Canton, OH, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Kyle Orton (18) drops back to pass in the first quarter of the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame game against the Miami Dolphins at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 4, 2013; Canton, OH, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Kyle Orton (18) drops back to pass in the first quarter of the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame game against the Miami Dolphins at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

In early 2012, Orton signed a three-year deal worth $10.5 million with Dallas. The contract also included a huge $5 million signing bonus. Here’s what SI.com’s Peter King had to say about the massive deal:

“I’m amazed that the Dallas Cowboys paid Orton — who I consider the best of the available backups, and not by a small amount — a $5 million signing bonus for a five-year deal that will likely void to three years. I understand sleeping better at night, which the Cowboys will do now that they have maybe the best backup quarterback in football as insurance for Tony Romo instead of the iffy Stephen McGee. But I’ve never heard of paying a guy you hope will never play a $5 million signing bonus.”

Trading Orton and his contract now may be the wisest course of action considering the team could be forced to release him this offseason anyway. This due to the Cowboys being an estimated $31 million over the salary cap in 2014. And restructuring contracts can only go so far. If this is the case, why not get something for Orton instead of simply releasing him?

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