AFC West: Cutler traded
Our special edition "sound off" was a rousing success. This subject is a talker, folks.
The question was, who did better in the Jay Cutler blockbuster trade, Denver or Chicago?
I received several responses. The feeling was split. Many people thought Denver --- which received two first-round picks, a third-rounder and quarterback Kyle Orton in the deal -- won the trade. Others though Chicago, which received Cutler and a fifth-round pick, won the deal.
Of course, only time will tell. It sure is fun breaking it down. Here are some of your responses:
Aaron from F. Collins: Slight win goes to Denver. They beefed up their draft picks (5 within the Top 84) BUT they do have to get the talent to make this a win in their case. Orton will be fine with the system being put in place, and he wont be touched with the Broncos stellar line. On the other hand, Chicago got their QB but what can he do with no WR's and a shaky Oline?
Kat from Dallas, TX: It's obvious Denver wins in this trade. Not only do they get a QB starter, but 2 first round and a 3rd round. Kyle Orton may be a downgrade from Jay Cutler, but remember that Orten did not have the supporting cast in Chicago that he will have in Denver. We'll see next year how good Jay Cutler actually is when he's playing on a team with no wide receivers or offensive line.
Tim from Girrard, OH: Bill...without question it is not even close...the Broncos scored huge in this trade. They now have relieved themselves of a huge locker room liability, garnered the draft picks they need to rebuild the horrible defense, and received a serviceable quarterback to maintain the offense while the defense catches up. Easy to see that McDaniels learned something from Belichick.
Matt from Salt Lake, UT: Bill, the winner may or may not be Chicago, but the loser is definately Denver. If the 2006 draft was done again knowing what we know now, Cutler would have been the first pick. Two first round picks can turn into great players, but it more than likely won't be as good as what they gave away. How valuable would the first overall pick in the draft be if the players were tossed into the league randomly for 3 years and then teams got to pick? twice as valuable? Three times? How can the two late teens to early twenties picks be worth that? I'm baffled, and it's not the first time I have been baffled this offseason by the Denver Broncos. I'm sad to say that I will no longer be rooting for the Broncos. I don't love Jay Cutler that much though. I haven't agreed with anthing they've done this year. Mike Shanahan shouldn't have been fired. McDaniels shouldn't have been hired, it should have been a defensive coach. Nobody in that front office should think that a Cutler for Cassel deal was in the best interest of the club. McDaniels shouldn't have been allowed to stand there and tell Cutler over and over that he could still be traded at any time when all he wanted was a little love from his team, so he could focus on football and not where he was going to end up now or in the future. And he most definitely shouldn't have been traded. Thanks for the blog, Bill. It has been nice. Hope you get reassigned this offseason to a division not run by blind, power-hungry, losers. GO BEARS!!
Robby from Pensacola: I think the Bears got the best of the trade for Cutler. Three draft picks, plus a player is quite a bit... but it isn't every season (or every decade, for that matter) that a legit franchise QB is available. The Broncos essentially get 3 rookies from the trade, and those don't always pan out.
DeWayne from Las Vegas: Its no question the Bears are giving a lot for Cutler but he is a proven commodity. As for Denver they have more picks to fix there biggest issue; D lineman troubles, but now they have potentially another problem, at QUARTERBACK!
Dustin from Huntington Beach, CA: Although I keep hearing how Denver got a ton in return for Cutler, I just don't see how one can think Denver won this trade. Two #1 picks are good and all but in reality both are going to be in the 2nd half of the 1st round, it is difficult to get impact players at those picks, and impact players is what Denver needs. Also, I don't know if it was actually on the table but it was rumored that Quinn and Rogers from Cle could have gone straight up for Cutler, I would have much rather taken that deal. Quinn is unproven but has WAY more upside than Orton, plus he knows the system, and the most important position in a 3-4 which Denver is switching to would have been filled with Rogers. They could have filled the most important position on O and on D with that trade. Bears get a 25 year old Pro Bowl QB who single handedly won the Broncos 8 games last year. Bears win.
Cory: I think da bears got a better deal. Denver may have got the picks but kyle isn't a starting quarterback in my mind, and who knows if the guys you get with the extra picks play out. Culter was THE franchise quarterback the Denver needed. It took them what 8 years between Elway and Cutler. I expect another 8 years, before Denver is a contender again. Which sucks cuz Denver is my team and i was hoping for a huge playoff run this year...now who knows when that will happen.
Zach from Maui: Both teams are winners here Bill. Each team got enough to move forward and be successful in the future. But if you had to give it to one team, its the Broncos. Two 1st round picks, 3rd round pick, and a QB that may actually pan out well under McDaniels and a good surrounding cast is a heck of a deal for denver.
Joe from Sacramento: This trade is a joke! I think both sides got won. Chicago got a franchise QB, and Denver got their picks and a QB, but as a Denver fan I am so infuriated with McDaniels it's not even funny. When he brought in free agents like Brian Dawkins and Andra Davis he promised them that we were going to win now and not rebuilding and trading Cutler is bringing this franchise a couple years back and now we may trade both first round picks to move up and get Mark Sanchez when we need those picks to draft defensive players? Bowlen fired Shanahan because he said he had too much power, well looks like McDaniels has even more power! What a joke!
Brad from KC: Denver clearly got the better deal. They got two 1st and a 3rd rounder plus a QB and only gave up a guy who acts like a total tool. Apparently the Bears believe they are a Pro Bowl QB away from a championship to give up so much.
Lon from Lowa: As a long-time Bronco Fan, I can tell you this was a great move for Da Bears. Congrats to Chicago for winning Super Bowl XLIV! (Oh yeah, I'm steaming mad that Bowlen fired Shanahan and hired the Boy Wonder.)
Chicago: Hi Bill. Love your blog man, great job. Here's a headline for your next blog/article: Shanahan Cutler reunion! After the Superbowl run, the Bears haven't done much. If they struggle this year and don't make the playoffs, Lovie Smith might be gone. Mike Shanahan will be available.... what do you think????
- ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth warns that Jay Cutler should be careful what he wishes for. Cutler is going to an offense that has lots of holes and not many draft picks to fill them with.
- ESPN.com's Bill Williamson doesn't like the Bears-Broncos trade from a Denver perspective.
- ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike also tackled the topic Friday morning, conducting interviews with: Mike Ditka, John Jurkovic from ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Ron Jaworski, SI's Peter King and Mel Kiper Jr.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
Here are some random facts about the Jay Cutler trade from Denver to Chicago:
Reunited: Cutler will now play with former Vanderbilt teammates, receiver Earl Bennett and left tackle Chris Williams. Cutler is close friends with both and Cutler actually threw to Bennett at his Pro Day.
Family ties: Cutler's family and Cutler, himself, rooted for the Bears growing up. They are from the Midwest.
Soldier Field experience: Cutler is 0-1 in Chicago as a Denver Bronco and lost a wild overtime game in 2007 in a game in which Devin Hester had two returns for scores. Cutler played well, though, as he tossed for more than 300 yards.
NFC North record: Cutler and the Broncos were 1-3 against his new division in 2007. They only beat Minnesota.
When will Denver and Chicago next meet: 2011.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
I got a chance to catch up with Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. on his thoughts on the blockbuster Jay Cutler trade.
Here is the trade breakdown: Denver sent Cutler and a fifth-round pick this year. Chicago sends Denver the No. 18 overall pick this year, its first-round pick in 2010, a third-round pick this year and quarterback Kyle Orton.
Here is how Williamson broke down the deal from Denver's perspective:
"Denver is obviously in the rebuilding mode. There was a lot to fix and now there is even more to fix as the Broncos just blew up their quarterback position. Yes, Denver got a lot of picks for Cutler but it has to hit on those picks. The only known talent in this trade is Cutler and he is leaving town. I do give Josh McDaniels this -- both Kyle Orton and Chris Simms will likely do better with him as their coach than in any other situation they've previously been in. But I don't know if it will be enough. The future doesn't look bright in Denver, at least, in the short term."
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
Here is a question I'd love to ask Denver owner Pat Bowlen: If he knew he'd have to trade Jay Cutler and go into the 2009 season, at least for now, having to choose between Kyle Orton and Chris Simms as his quarterback, would he have hired Josh McDaniels to be his new head coach?
Would Bowlen have even fired Mike Shanahan if it meant a divorce with his young gun quarterback?
Now, Cutler is in Chicago and the Broncos have immense pressure on them. McDaniels needs to make this work or his days as an NFL coach could be numbered. Bowlen took McDaniels' side in the Cutler saga, which began in late February when the Broncos engaged in trade talks about quarterback Matt Cassel, whom McDaniels coached in New England. Will he stay by McDaniels' side if the Cutler trade ruins this franchise?
The last time we heard from McDaniels, at the NFL owners' meeting March 24, he appeared confident that the rift with Cutler would be resolved and the quarterback would remain in Denver. Nine days later, the Broncos are going to try to shine up Orton. McDaniels is scheduled to meet with the media Friday.
Orton and Simms will head to training camp as two fairly unaccomplished quarterbacks who are fighting for the starting job to start the McDaniels' era.
Really, Orton and Simms.
This can't be what Bowlen envisioned when he introduced McDaniels as head coach in January. Bowlen, of course, had to be envisioning McDaniels who has a very nice track record working with quarterbacks, taking Cutler to the next level. Cutler, 25, was three weeks shy of making his Pro Bowl debut when McDaniels was hired.
It seemed like a perfect marriage. Yet, the two never even had a honeymoon.
If Denver, which could (and should) draft a quarterback later this month, fails to parlay the three draft picks (two this year and one next year) into quality players, the Broncos will struggle for years.
There is more pressure on McDaniels as he starts the Orton/Simms era than on any coach I can remember. This can't be what Bowlen was expecting when he made this hire.