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The Jay Cutler Deal: One Year Later

April 3, 2010

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Broncos/Bears Jay Cutler deal. It’s hard to say what was more of a roller coaster, the prelude to the trade, the actual trade, or what happened in the wake of it. Either way, it is safe to say it was one of the most iconic trades in NFL history.

Both teams you can make the case benefited from it. The Broncos bought a future with two first round draft picks, and a solid QB in Kyle Orton, while the Bears finally acquired the franchise Quarterback, that had eluded them for so long. In the process though, they sacrificed two drafts.

It is honestly the most divisive trade in NFL history. It boils down to two main reasons. One was that both Josh McDaniels and Jay Cutlers character was thrown into question. Was Jay Cutler really the good ol’ boy he had made himself out to be? Was Josh McDaniels the second coming of Bill Belichick, but this time without the rings?

There are three sides to the controversy. You can take the coaches side, the Quarterbacks side, and then there is the truth. Sadly, no one will ever be able to take the last side, because we will never know what really lead to the biggest blockbuster trade of the last decade.

Instead what will happen is that we will question who won, the Bears or the Broncos. Trades are a game in and of themselves. Every single year you look back at a blockbuster trade and you say: “okay so who got the better deal?” Sometimes both teams benefit greatly. For example the Philip Rivers and Eli Manning trade ended up working out well for both sides. The Giants won a Super Bowl and the Chargers wont heir division 5 times straight.

Usually though, there is a winner and it can change year to year. Right now, it can go either way. Jay Cutler had the worst season of his career and was beaten by Kyle Orton in ever facet but touchdowns. He was trumped in passing yards, (something shocking to me), interceptions, QB rating, completion percentage and won games.

On the other hand though, the Bears still have the potential to get something great out of Cutler. He definitely took a step backwards, but if it wasn’t for a few games, he would have had a decent season. The problem is that now both coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo are now on the two hottest seats in the league.

Another case could be made that besides Kyle Orton, the Broncos have really not seen much of a benefit from the trade. Linebacker Robert Ayers, who last years first round pick from the Bears was spent on has only had 19 tackles, and has not earned the starting position from veteran Mario Haggan.

The other 3rd round pick that the Bears sent to us last year was spent on Tight End Richard Quinn who did not receive a single pass last year, and did not start a single game. That said, there is still one pick the Broncos have remaining from the trade and that will be spent in the upcoming days as the draft comes closer and closer, so it is not finished just yet.

There is a wild-card though in favor of the Bears. The Broncos traded away a fifth round pick with Cutler to seal the deal. With that, Chicago picked Johnny Knox, who had a 500 yard rookie season with five touchdowns. He looks to have a real future in this league, and is rarely factored in the equation.

At its very heart, the trade can not be completely evaluated for another few years, but at this point it seems that both teams have benefited in their own ways. A lot will ride on Cutlers’ performance next year and it will include his and all of the people who made this trade happen in Chicagos’ jobs. This trade will continue to be talked about for years, and will always be a part of Cutlers, McDaniels, and Ortons’ legacies as NFL players and coaches.

  1. April 3, 2010 3:11 PM

    Wasn’t it April 2nd?

    • April 4, 2010 9:45 AM

      No, I believe it was the third. PFT has their own article if you want to check it out.

      • April 4, 2010 11:18 AM

        Oh? Okay, shows how much I’ve put it out of my mind lol. I don’t really miss him, I miss Plummer… I’ve gotten over him, but I don’t really like Orton

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