Bills QB Kyle Orton announces retirement from NFL

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Buffalo Bills will need to return to E.J. Manuel next season — or find a new option at quarterback — because veteran journeyman Kyle Orton announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday.

By throwing for 176 yards in the Bills 17-9 victory over New England, Orton went over the 3,000 yard mark for the third time in his career.

The Bills signed Orton to an $11 million contract in late-August, immediately sparking talk that first-round pick E.J. Manuel would be given a short leash this season. Orton first took the field in week 5 against the Lions, leading the Bills to a 17-14 win in Detroit.

PHOTOS | Kyle Orton announces his retirement, a season in review. 

However, Orton struggled down the stretch, scoring just one touchdown in two critical losses to Kansas City and Miami. The Bills missed the playoffs for the 15th straight year, but E.J. Manuel did not see the playing field again once Orton took over.

“I mean that’s his choice. Obviously, he was a guy who did some things for us this year – stepped in and played a major role in what we were able to accomplish. We wish him well,” said running back Fred Jackson in reaction to Orton’s news.

Prior to the announcement, E.J. Manuel told reporters he hoped to earn the starting role once again.

“Just be ready to compete. I’m not sure how it’s going to play out as far as the offseason, but whichever quarterbacks they bring in or whichever quarterbacks they have here, just be ready to compete and try to make this team better,” Manuel said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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