Orton lost his starting job to Tim Tebow after going 1-4 in the Broncos' first five games of the season. Orton had won the job during training camp over Tebow and Brady Quinn, who now becomes the team's No. 2 quarterback. Adam Weber could be promoted from the practice squad to be Denver's No. 3 quarterback.
Tebow was named the starter during Denver's bye week, relegating Orton and his 67 career starts to the bench. Orton completed 58.7 percent of his passes this season for 979 yards and eight touchdowns with seven interceptions.
"This was the right decision for our football team. We feel good about our quarterback group, and this gives Kyle an opportunity to help another team and showcase his talents."
If Orton is claimed off waivers, a team would have to pick up the remainder of the $8.8 million salary that he's owed this season. Should Orton clear waivers by Wednesday afternoon, he would become a free agent. With his current contract on its final year, Orton will become a free agent after the season.
There are teams in need of a veteran quarterback with starting experience -- including the team that shipped Orton to Denver in a blockbuster trade two years ago.
Bears general manager Jerry Angelo told me Tuesday before Orton was waived that Chicago hoped to have a veteran signed by Wednesday afternoon. The Bears have considered J.T. O'Sullivan and Josh McCown, among others. It isn't known if they would consider bringing back Orton, who is familiar with some members of the coaching staff and several players.
Darlington: Where will Orton go?
The Kansas City Chiefs, who are in last place in the AFC West but still in position to win the division, put starting quarterback Matt Cassel (hand) on season-ending injured reserve Monday and also need a quarterback. Tyler Palko struggled as the Chiefs' starter in a 34-3 loss to the New England Patriots on Monday night.