The Buffalo Bills had reportedly been wooing Kyle Orton since he was released by the Dallas Cowboys earlier this offseason, driven by their desire to improve their quarterback bench. Apparently, it took a mighty big contract to get Orton to finally sign on the dotted line this week.
Wow. Per @RapSheet on Total Access, Orton's deal with the Bills will pay him $5M in the first year. Suggests he will play at some point.— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) August 30, 2014
Orton will make more than twice as much as E.J. Manuel, who has a $2 million figure based on rookie-contract salary and signing bonus proration. It's an indication of how important Doug Whaley and Doug Marrone felt the upgrade was. In the wake of constant complaining about penny-pinching, this is the opposite.
The Bills now have the highest-paid backup in the league with that salary. He will be paid more than several starting quarterbacks as well, though most of them were slotted in under the rookie wage scale like Manuel. Ryan Fitzpatrick is set to make $3.6 million in 2014, while Brian Hoyer is under $1 million. That will undoubtedly lead to speculation that Orton will eventually become the Bills' starting quarterback, though Manuel will clearly have opportunities to belay those story lines.