Tomorrow is the start of the NFL playoffs (finally!). Teams that are not in the playoffs have had their rosters frozen––contract extensions are still allowed––so only the teams still in the playoffs are allowed to make normal transactions. The total number of moves will be more reflective of this next week, where the rosters will have been frozen for the entire period of the Transaction Tracker. This week was quiet––as expected––with the major news being the retirement of a quarterback who was a starter on and off throughout his career. As always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.
After 10 seasons and five NFL teams, the 32-year old Orton decided to call it quits on his NFL career soon after the Buffalo Bills week 17 victory over the New England Patriots.
The morning after the game, he was in the locker room and told a reporter he had a meeting to go to and would talk later. However, he never returned and it was soon announced that he was retiring from the NFL. Of all the retirement stories of NFL players, this has to be one of the best.
This offseason, he signed a two-year contract with Buffalo worth $11 million with a $3 million signing bonus. He was set to earn $5.4 million next season.
This isn’t the first time Orton has dealt with retirement. During the offseason, the threatened the Dallas Cowboys with retirement. Long story short, the Cowboys ended up cutting him, making him a free agent. As a free agent, he signed with Buffalo right before the start of the season.
For the season, he completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 3,018 yards, 18 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and had a quarterback rating of 87.8 in 12 games, all starts.
Prior to playing for the Bills, Orton spent time with the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and the Cowboys. Chicago drafted him in the fourth round of the 2005 draft out of Purdue.
As a rookie, he started 15 games, going 10-5, due to and injury to the original starter, Rex Grossman. Orton then didn’t play in the 2006 season and started three games in 2007 after spending most of the season as the backup. 2008 saw him win the starting quarterback job in training camp, leading to him starting 15 games.
After the 2008 season, he was traded to the Denver Broncos as part of Jay Cutler trade. In two and a half seasons as a Bronco, Orton started 33 games before being benched for Tim Tebow and subsequently released.
Kansas City claimed Orton off waivers and he finished the season there, making three starts due to an injury to starter Matt Cassel. As free agent at the end of the season, Orton signed with Dallas, spending the 2012 and 2013 seasons there, playing very little as a backup.
Orton had his moments as a starter, but in the end, he was a low-tier starter who could be improved upon. He had a high standing within the league, hence his playing time with five different teams. He was a very good backup, who was trusted to come in as a backup due to injuries.
The Chicago Bears sign C Roberto Garza to a one-year contract extension.
The Cincinnati Bengals sign WR Cobi Hamilton.
The Cleveland Browns sign QB Connor Shaw.
The Cleveland Browns waive TE Ryan Taylor.
The Cleveland Browns waive LB Eric Martin.
The Cleveland Browns sign DT Jamie Meder.
The Cleveland Browns sign WR Phil Bates.
The Dallas Cowboys sign LB James Anderson.
The Detroit Lions sign C Darren Keyton.
The Detroit Lions waive C Darren Keyton.
The Indianapolis Colts sign G David Arkin.
The Minnesota Vikings sign LB Josh Kaddu.
The New England Patriots sign WR Josh Boyce.
The New Orleans Saints sign WR Brandon Coleman.
The New Orleans Saints sign LB Jerry Franklin.
The New Orleans Saints sign QB Ryan Griffin to a one-year contract extension.
The New York Jets sign WR Quincy Enunwa.
The New York Jets sign QB Matt Simms to a one-year contract extension.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign RB Ben Tate.
The Pittsburgh Steelers release WR Justin Brown.
The San Diego Chargers sign C Jeff Baca.
The San Francisco 49ers sign WR/KR Trindon Holliday.
The San Francisco 49ers sign CB Cameron Fuller.
The Seattle Seahawks waive DT Travian Robertson.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign TE Brandon Myers to a one-year contract extension.
The Washington Redskins claim DT Travian Robertson off waivers.