Quarterback Kyle Orton was released Wednesday by the Dallas Cowboys, an expected move after Tony Romo’s backup was a no-show during off-season workouts.
Orton skipped the workouts amid reports that he was considering retirement. He was subjected to about $70,000 in fines for failing to report during the off-season and missing the mandatory minicamp in June.
By releasing Orton, the Cowboys save his $3.25-million base salary this season. But he will count about $1.1-million to their salary cap this season and about $2.2-million to next year’s cap.
The Cowboys report to training camp in California next week with Brandon Weeden as the backup quarterback and Caleb Hanie also on the roster.
Weeden, Cleveland’s first-round draft pick in 2012, signed with the Cowboys in March and worked with the first team during the off-season while Romo recovered from back surgery.
Orton threw for 15,019 yards with 83 touchdowns and 59 interceptions in 75 career games for Chicago (2005-08), Denver (2009-11), Kansas City (2011) and Dallas (2012-13). He was 35-35 as a starter, only one of those coming with the Cowboys.
After getting into just one game in his first season with the Cowboys in 2012, Orton played briefly in two games last season before starting against the Eagles. He was 30 of 46 for 358 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions against Philadelphia, including one late that clinched the Eagles’ 24-22 win in the season finale.
Weeden started right away after the Browns took him with the 22nd pick, but was benched for good late in his second season with a career record of 5-15, including losses in all five starts in 2013.
Weeden turns 31 in October but is going into just his third season because he spent five years playing professional baseball out of high school.