IMO, this thing is quite simple and so far McD is following it.
1) Let him play/practice. If he acts like an idiot, suspend him.
2) If he is productive this year, healthy and stays out of trouble offer him a contract. If he doesn't like the contract he is a restricted free agent, so tender him the highest amount allowed. If someone offers, we get at least a 1st rd pick in return, if not, we keep him for another year.
3) If we manage to keep him with the tender, the following year you do the same thing, offer a long term contract based on his performance. If he rejects it again, franchise him.
4) Rinse and repeat. We have the power to keep him or ruin his career. Follow through with this and we lose nothing.
You see, with Cutler, it was different, your QB sets the tone. If he's a drunk jackass, you need to replace him, and that is what we did. Would Cutler have matured eventually? Yes, but in today's NFL, you have to win now and waiting on him to get it, wasn't something the team was willing to do. I am skeptical of Orton being a long term solution, but you can tell that McD can do wonders for a QB. If Orton fails, McD will find a suitable replacement.