Contrary To What Some May Say, The Jay Cutler Trade Is A Rare Win-Win Scenario
I'm a Chicago Bears fan that lives in Colorado, so when the Jay Cutler trade went down today, all hell broke loose for me here. I've watched every game of the Bears and Broncos for years and follow each team closely, so I'm well familiar with each team and what they need. Today, they both came out winners in this deal, which is something you rarely see in trades.
I wrote on my blog "Sharapova's Thigh" today about my view on this as a Bears fan. To sum it up, I'm freaking thrilled. Never in my lifetime have the Bears had a quarterback of Cutler's caliber. The last Pro Bowl quarterback they had was Jim McMahon in 1985. Cutler's probably the most talented quarterback in the NFL right now. His decision-making and leadership abilities are the only things holding him back from stepping up into the next tier of quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. He may never get there, but he's incredible talent and still a top 5-10 QB, and just 25 years old.
Cutler immediately makes them a much better team and possibly the favorites in the NFC North. His ability to stretch the field will open up running lanes for second-year running back Matt Forte. His tremendous ability to throw the deep ball will get the most out of wide receiver Devin Hester, who improved greatly at the position last season. Numerous times he got open 30+ yards downfield but Orton was unable to get enough on the throw to hit Hester. Cutler will.
Good quarterback play is necessary to win championships, usually great quarterback play unless you have a 1985 Bears or 2000 Ravens defense. Anyway, I could give countless reasons on why this is a great deal for the Bears and I provided many of them in my blog post so check that out. Really, I wanted to explain why this is also a good trade for the Broncos because I'm seeing a lot of fellow Coloradoans for example freaking out over this trade, trashing Kyle Orton. Well I've got news for you: Kyle Orton is a good quarterback and will do just fine for the Broncos.
Orton was terrific for the Bears last season prior to his ankle injury. He was getting plenty of zip on his throws, tossing darts all over the field on passes within 25 yards. He had thrown 10 touchdown passes with an awful group of receivers, and just 4 interceptions. He finished the season 18 passing touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a 79.6 QB rating. However, those numbers really aren't a fair way to judge his season. Anybody that watched the Bears each week could see he wasn't getting any drive off his right ankle and couldn't make the same throws he was making prior to the injury. The Bears rushed him back from injury at least two weeks before he was supposed to return as they wanted him to help beat the Green Bay Packers in what was a huge game at the time. Instead he was clearly hurting, they lost 37-3, and he wasn't 100% for the rest of the season.
Now Orton goes to a quarterback-friendly system with terrific weapons surrounding him like Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal. As I've said and it's been well-documented, Orton struggles with throwing the deep ball, but he's very good within 25 yards. He didn't have wide receivers that would just get separation and catch the ball consistently last season, now he does. I expect him to put up very similar numbers to Cutler this year. He's also a great leader and is very respected by his teammates.
Additionally, they are loaded in the draft now. With the two first rounders and the third rounder they got today from the Bears(by the way, the Bears just got a compensatory third round pick on March 23rd so that gave them more flexibility to make this deal), they now have five selections in the first 84 picks in the draft. They can do a lot to fix up their defense which is by far their biggest problem, and it also gives them more flexibility if they would like to make another trade this offseason.
Look, are the Broncos a "better" team right now than they were before the trade? Absolutely not, but it's a mess that they(Josh McDaniels) created and couldn't get out of, and this was the best possible deal they could hope for in return.
And the Bears, well they got a franchise quarterback in the first time since... pretty much forever. Considering the situations, this was a good day for both teams.