Musical Quarterbacks

Carson Palmer

When the NFL season started a little over two months ago, these were the starting quarterbacks in the AFC West:

Denver Broncos – Kyle Orton
Kansas City Chiefs – Matt Cassel
Oakland Raiders – Jason Campbell
San Diego Chargers – Philip Rivers

Things have changed:

Chiefs claim Orton off waivers

Kyle Orton has a new home in the AFC West.

Orton was claimed off waivers Wednesday by the Kansas City Chiefs, who were in the market for a veteran quarterback after losing Matt Cassel to a season-ending injury to his throwing hand.

Orton was released by the Broncos on Tuesday, six weeks after he was benched following a 1-4 start. The former Chicago Bears starter, who passed for 3,000 yards each of his first two seasons in Denver, became expendable when the Broncos opted to go with Tim Tebow as their starter.


Several other teams were interested in Orton, including the Bears, but the Chiefs were highest in the order of waiver priority and landed him. He’s expected to report to the Chiefs on Thursday, though it’s unlikely that he’ll be up to speed in time for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh.

If that’s the case, Tyler Palko will make his second consecutive start. He was 24 of 37 for 230 yards and three interceptions in his first NFL start, a 34-3 loss to New England on Monday night.


Now it appears that Palko will have to fend off Orton to keep the starting job.


Orton, a former Purdue star, was a fourth-round draft pick and appeared on the way to stardom when he assumed the Bears’ starting job for 15 games as a rookie, winning 10 of them.


His stock never higher, Orton was traded along with a package of draft picks to Denver for Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler. In a curious twist of fate, it was an injury to Cutler that sparked Chicago’s interest in claiming its former starter off waivers.

Jason Campbell was playing good until he broke his collarbone so the Raiders traded for Carson Palmer, who refused to play his final year with Cincinnati. Palmer is 2-1 as a starter for the Raiders.

Orton got benched then cut, and will likely be starting soon for Kansas City because Cassel is out for the season. Meanwhile, Philip Rivers is the only AFC West QB to start every game and the Chargers are in the middle of a 5-game losing streak.

Best of all, the Chicago Bears (who originally drafted Orton) lost their starting quarterback (Jay Cutler) to a broken thumb last week. Jay Cutler originally played for the Broncos (2006-2008) before being traded to Chicago for Kyle Orton.

The Raiders play the Bears in Oakland on Sunday.

So, current AFC West starting quarterbacks are:

Denver Broncos – Tim Tebow
Kansas City Chiefs – Tyler Palko
Oakland Raiders – Carson Palmer
San Diego Chargers – Philip Rivers

BTW – The Oakland Raiders (6-4) are all alone in first place and today I am truly thankful for Carson Palmer.

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8 Responses to Musical Quarterbacks

  1. Anthony says:

    Russian newscaster gets the boot after flipping the bird to BHO

  2. elliesmom says:

    When I saw “Musical Quarterbacks”, I thought you were writing a post about Julliard’s starting a football team in 2013.

  3. foxyladi14 says:

    fired.not just scolded?

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