Why The Seahawks Should Claim Kyle Orton

With Kyle Orton having been released by the Denver Broncos, speculation has run rampant about where he will finish the season.  Most observers feel he is headed back to the Chicago Bears, where he began his career.  Other possible destinations mentioned include Houston, Kansas City, Indianapolis and Tennessee.  However, if they have the salary cap space, I would like to see the Seattle Seahawks make a claim on Orton.

This is not a slam on Tarvaris Jackson.  I have nothing but respect for Jackson, but he should not be playing right now.  If he had played for any other team, he would have been placed on injured reserve the day after he suffered a pectoral injury against the New York Giants.  His injury is affecting his play, and the situation is getting worse.

The two interceptions Jackson threw against the St. Louis Rams were horrible throws.  The defense didn’t do anything remarkable to create those turnovers.  Jackson’s mechanics on both throws were awful.  He looked like a 50 year old weekend warrior playing flag football.  The injury is limiting his ability to throw downfield.  It won’t be long until the Seahawks start seeing eight man boxes and press coverage on every play.

The injury also seems to be affecting his mobility.  He took a couple of sacks against the Rams that any healthy quarterback, no matter how slow footed, would have easily avoided.  He saw the defenders, but couldn’t do anything about it.  The Seahawks were fortunate that they were playing the inept Rams.  A better team would have buried the Seahawks early. 

It’s obvious that the only way Head Coach Pete Carroll will play Charlie Whitehurst is if Jackson is completely incapacitated.  Carroll certainly had the opportunity to switch quarterbacks last Sunday, and Whitehurst was in fact warming up on the sideline.  Carroll felt that Jackson at around 50% health-wise was preferable to a 100% Whitehurst.  That tells you all you need to know.

This is where Orton comes in.  If the Seahawks claim him, he can be with the team and practice for almost three weeks in the same setting, as the team is about to embark on a rare three game home stand.  He can watch on the sideline as the Seahawks face the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles.  The Eagles game is on Thursday night, and the next game against the Rams isn’t until eleven days later on Monday Night Football.  That would give Orton plenty of time to prepare for any playing time that should arise.

If Jackson’s health improves, then he should remain the starter, but I just don’t see that happening.  I find it highly unlikely that he could play the rest of the season at an acceptable level.  Whitehurst is not an option, and Josh Portis is an untested rookie.  Having Orton would prevent Jackson from further injury and allow him to recuperate in time for next season.

Acquiring Orton would tell the team that management is committed to winning as many games as possible NOW.  As unlikely as it seems, the Seahawks do have a chance at a wild card berth.  The schedule is certainly in their favor.  The Redskins have lost six in a row.  The Eagles are floundering, and Michael Vick might miss the game against Seattle.  The Rams are in complete disarray.  Who knows how the Chicago Bears will react to the loss of Jay Cutler?  The San Francisco 49ers might come in to Seattle on Christmas Eve with nothing to play for, and the Arizona Cardinals are not playing particularly well.  An added bonus to claiming Orton would be preventing him from returning to the Bears, who would be one of the main wild card competitors.

Tarvaris Jackson has been a warrior, but his health is not improving.  Kyle Orton would provide a solid, if not spectacular, replacement as the Seahawks enter the final few weeks of the season.  This is an opportunity the team should not pass up.

Tags: Arizona Cardinals Charlie Whitehurst Chicago Bears Kyle Orton Philadelphia Eagles San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams Tarvaris Jackson Washington Redskins

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  • Dolence

    While I agree that Charlie Whitehurst’s play has been unremarkable at best this season, I don’t think that is the only reason why Tarvaris Jackson remains the team’s starting quarterback despite suffering an injured pectoral muscle.

    Obviously, the organization and its medical staff believe he can continue to play without undergoing surgery. And I don’t believe people are giving Tarvaris enough credit for his toughness.

    I trust he’ll be able to play well the rest of the way; there is no reason to search for a different short-term answer at this point in the season. I wouldn’t have been opposed to adding Kyle Orton, but more for depth rather than a replacement.

    Take away Jackson’s two early miscues against St. Louis and he finishes 14/22 (64%) for 148 yards and a touchdown. Not great, but not terrible for a team that dominated most of the game and rushed the ball 39 times.

    He’ll probably need surgery this offseason, but I have no problem letting him play now. The team is behind him and playing well right now. He will never be a great quarterback, but I think he has proven he is capable of remaining under center until Seattle finds its quarterback of the future.

  • Dolence

    While I agree that Charlie Whitehurst’s play has been unremarkable at best this season, I don’t think that is the only reason why Tarvaris Jackson remains the team’s starting quarterback despite suffering an injured pectoral muscle.

    Obviously, the organization and its medical staff believe he can continue to play without undergoing surgery. And I don’t believe people are giving Tarvaris enough credit for his toughness.

    I trust he’ll be able to play well the rest of the way; there is no reason to search for a different short-term answer at this point in the season. I wouldn’t have been opposed to adding Kyle Orton, but more for depth rather than a replacement.

    Take away Jackson’s two early miscues against St. Louis and he finishes 14/22 (64%) for 148 yards and a touchdown. Not great, but not terrible for a team that dominated most of the game and rushed the ball 39 times.

    He’ll probably need surgery this offseason, but I have no problem letting him play now. The team is behind him and playing well right now. He will never be a great quarterback, but I think he has proven he is capable of remaining under center until Seattle finds its quarterback of the future.

  • Dnoseattle

    Every time I listen to Tarvaris in a press conference, I see him touching his right side shoulder and pectoral area. He did this a lot in the Wednesday conference. Anyone with eyes can see he is in pain. If TJack was the long term solution to this team, Carroll would have him on IR, like Carpenter. Unfortunately, Carroll doesn’t think of him as our long term QB so he’s going to run him into the ground even if he ruins his career. Does this seem too harsh? As I write this, it does seem a little too much. But how do you explain the team playing TJack when he can’t even take practice snaps?

  • Dnoseattle

    Every time I listen to Tarvaris in a press conference, I see him touching his right side shoulder and pectoral area. He did this a lot in the Wednesday conference. Anyone with eyes can see he is in pain. If TJack was the long term solution to this team, Carroll would have him on IR, like Carpenter. Unfortunately, Carroll doesn’t think of him as our long term QB so he’s going to run him into the ground even if he ruins his career. Does this seem too harsh? As I write this, it does seem a little too much. But how do you explain the team playing TJack when he can’t even take practice snaps?

  • ricefield

    I like your points about Jackson and Whitworst. Coach Pete has zero confidence with Whitworst. Why do you think they didn’t put in a claim? Was it a matter of money? I read somewhere that if Orton signs with a new team for the 2012 season that the 2011 team, KC, will get a draft pick. That sounds like a good deal to me.

  • ricefield

    I like your points about Jackson and Whitworst. Coach Pete has zero confidence with Whitworst. Why do you think they didn’t put in a claim? Was it a matter of money? I read somewhere that if Orton signs with a new team for the 2012 season that the 2011 team, KC, will get a draft pick. That sounds like a good deal to me.

  • josephokabe

    @ricefield

    Money may have been the reason, but I’d bet it has more to do with Pete Carroll’s stubbornness. I just can’t see Jackson finishing the season. I’m disappointed the Seahawks didn’t file a claim.

  • josephokabe

    @Dnoseattle

    Jackson was never a long term option; that’s why he only has a 2-year contract. I think Carroll is doing a disservice to Jackson, but Jackson doesn’t have much of a choice. Jackson will play until he is completely incapacitated. Carroll has no faith in Whitehurst. The question that should be asked is, why did they decide to keep Whitehurst on the team if they were only going to use him as a last resort?!

  • josephokabe

    @ricefield

    Money may have been the reason, but I’d bet it has more to do with Pete Carroll’s stubbornness. I just can’t see Jackson finishing the season. I’m disappointed the Seahawks didn’t file a claim.

  • josephokabe

    @Dnoseattle

    Jackson was never a long term option; that’s why he only has a 2-year contract. I think Carroll is doing a disservice to Jackson, but Jackson doesn’t have much of a choice. Jackson will play until he is completely incapacitated. Carroll has no faith in Whitehurst. The question that should be asked is, why did they decide to keep Whitehurst on the team if they were only going to use him as a last resort?!