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Both players signed new deals after last season. Orton had one year left on a contract and it was extended one year, while Grossman's deal had expired and he signed on only for 2008.
The fact Grossman is signed on for only one season had little to do with the decision, coaches said.
"Never even came up, not at all," Turner said. "I wasn't even sure what the contract situation was, to be honest."
Grossman, who quarterbacked the team to the Super Bowl after the 2006 season and has 30 career starts, did not make himself available to the media after practice. Smith said Grossman expressed disappointment over the decision.
"No competitor will agree with a decision when it doesn't go their way," he said. "Rex is a team player. He's been in this situation before and he'll do whatever he needs to do to help our football team win."
Smith could not give Orton an ironclad guarantee he will start all season.
"Nothing is over with any position," Smith said. "We don't name any guys starters for lifetime or anything like that. But we feel real good about Kyle, just like we feel good about Olin Kreutz being our center and Lance Briggs being our ... linebacker."
Teammates expressed relief to have the battle decided.
"It is kind of frustrating wondering who the starting quarterback is," wide receiver Devin Hester said. "That's probably one of the most important players on the team is the quarterback. Now that we've got it all resolved and we know who the starter is, then now we can get down to business."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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