Chiefs, Redskins make sense as landing spots for Orton

Way back in August, when Kyle Orton was on the trading block, frustrated fans in Miami spent the end of a practice chanting, "We want Or-ton!" Three months later, that might not be the case anymore. But we're wondering: Does anyone else? In the wake of the Broncos' decision to release their former starter Tuesday, let's take a look at the seven teams that most likely jumped into your mind as potential landing places for the quarterback's services.


Sensibility Meter (1-100): 94*

Priority on Waiver Claim: It might not matter, but the Texans would need Kansas City to pass on Orton if he'll have a chance to compete with Matt Leinart. The Falcons would also need to pass. Wait, the Falcons? Yeah, we'll explain that one in a moment.

Survey Says: Well, we're not sure what the survey says. But we do know what longtime Houston Chronicle writer John McClain is saying: *It's not going to happen. McClain reports the Texans will stick with Matt Leinart, and in the case that he struggles, they'll sign another one of the backups on the market. Hey, we're not questioning the report. We're just questioning the decision. Are the Texans really going to put the AFC's best team on the back of Leinart, who has yet to prove his worth as a pro quarterback? If the Texans find out Matt Schaub doesn't need to go on injured reserve after an evaluation Wednesday, maybe this will make slightly more sense. In the meantime, the head scratching continues.

Kansas City

Sensibility Meter (1-100): 90

Priority on Waiver Claim: The Chiefs fall just behind the Dolphins on the waiver wire, so they'd need to wait for eight teams to pass. Of the teams that make the most sense, the Chiefs get first shot.

Survey Says: Even at 4-6, the Chiefs aren't necessarily out of the hunt in the bizarre land of the AFC West. Sure, the Raiders have the momentum. Yes, Tim Tebow has made it clear you shouldn't doubt him, either. But Kansas City is only two wins from the top, and Tyler Palko didn't exactly look like the guy to orchestrate the surge without a healthy Matt Cassel. For a six-week lease? Orton seems worth it.


Sensibility Meter (1-100): 88

Priority on Waiver Claim: Only two teams -- the 49ers and the Packers -- fall below the Bears on the waiver list. In other words, everyone else will need to pass on Orton in order for a Chicago reunion.

Survey Says: When Orton was waived, the Bears probably shot to the front of your mind as the most likely landing place for the former Chicago starter two days after Jay Cutler fractured his thumb. Then, after three seconds, you probably stepped back and revisited it. Orton never played for Mike Martz. Cutler eventually will be back for a playoff run. Caleb Hanie was pretty decent in Cutler's place during the NFC Championship game. We're not saying you changed your mind completely -- but it probably wasn't the slam dunk everyone initially expected. Still, how do the Bears not thoroughly explore this one? In the same division as the Packers, the 7-3 Bears need a wild-card berth in a conference that has three 6-4 teams and one other 7-3 team. If he's available, passing on Orton might be more of a gamble than picking him up.


Sensibility Meter (1-100): 80

Priority on Waiver Claim: Three of the four teams ahead of the Redskins on the waiver list have young quarterbacks currently in place, and the fourth (the Colts) are a very unlikely suitor for Orton.

Survey Says:Rex Grossman and John Beck, despite plenty of opportunities each, have yet to prove they deserve a long-term commitment at quarterback for the Redskins. While that could change with a solid finish by Grossman, it's going to be hard to find many people within the fan base that are convinced. It's a wonder whether the Redskins will use this opportunity to get a jump on their evaluations of the pool of quarterbacks who will hit free agency in March (Orton is one of them). By giving Orton a look now, they'll be able to tell whether he might just be the answer moving forward -- or if he should be crossed of the list. Given the magnitude of the decision, it might just be worth the investment.


Sensibility Meter (1-100): 52

Priority on Waiver Claim: After such a dismal start, the Dolphins are actually behind seven other teams on the waiver wire. Given the potential suitors ahead of them, Miami could probably land him if they wanted him.

Survey Says: Remember when the fans chanted for Orton -- even while Chad Henne was healthy? Remember when the Dolphins decided Orton would cost too much? Now, Henne is hurt. And Orton is in the bargain bin. So it's particularly ironic, after 10 weeks, that Miami would pass him up. But given the recent progress of Matt Moore, the Dolphins are probably better suited to find out what they have in Moore than bringing Orton into town for a six-week temporary stay.


Sensibility Meter (1-100): 50

Priority on Waiver Claim: As it pertains to the list of waiver wire teams, only one matters: The Bears. And the Falcons have priority over the Bears.

Survey Says:No, Matt Ryan isn't injured. He's just fine. But the Falcons are a smart, bold team, proven by Thomas Dimitroff's draft-day trade to grab Julio Jones. So we're not convinced they won't at least consider the possibility of snatching Orton for the sake of blocking his path to the Bears. As we stated earlier, the Bears might be wise to go after Orton simply for insurance given the heated race for the two wild-cards in the NFC. The Falcons are one of the 6-4 teams currently in that pack. Might they be willing to shift the competitive balance within the conference by messing with the Bears? We're not saying it'll happen, but it'd be pretty entertaining if it did.


Sensibility Meter (1-100): 0

Priority on Waiver Claim: If they want him, they got him.

Survey Says: Nobody within the organization will admit it, but why would the Colts tinker with their chance to acquire the first overall pick in 2012 when their season is already beyond salvageable? It'd be a waste of money and a waste of effort for everyone involved.

Follow Jeff Darlington on Twitter @jeffdarlington

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