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Old 01-19-2011, 11:07 AM   #1
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Default Cutler deal was beginning of end for Denver

Cutler deal was beginning of end for Denver


By Bill Williamson

"Jay Cutler became a Denver Bronco months after the team advanced to the AFC Championship Game.

When the Broncos traded up to take Cutler with the No.11 pick of the 2006 draft, they probably would have been thrilled to know the quarterback would lead his team to a home championship game appearance in his fifth NFL season.

Unfortunately for Denver, Cutler is now a member of the Chicago Bears. The Broncos traded Cutler in April 2009, and they are still looking for their first playoff berth since they drafted him.

“This is the type of move that can adversely affect a franchise for five years,” Scouts Inc.'s Gary Horton said. “There is no question. The Broncos are in much worse shape today than they were the day before they made this trade.”

This week gives Denver a painful reminder of how far the organization has fallen in the two years since Josh McDaniels replaced Mike Shanahan as head coach. Shanahan left a good offense, but Denver’s defense needed to be retooled. The job appeared to be an attractive one. The 8-8 Broncos were headlined by a 25-year-old quarterback who was coming off a Pro Bowl berth is in his second full season as a starter.

One of the primary reasons McDaniels was hired at age 32 to replace Shanahan was his ability to work with Cutler. Instead, the entire franchise was changed after McDaniels tried to acquire former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel, who was instead traded to Kansas City. McDaniels and Cutler then feuded. Cutler was shipped out.

While Cutler is preparing to face Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, McDaniels is beginning a stint as the offensive coordinator in St. Louis. He is trying to rehabilitate his once seemingly boundless coaching career after a disastrous 28-game run in Denver. Among McDaniels’ biggest missteps in Denver were poor personnel decisions, beginning with the Cutler trade.


While the Bears are exactly where they hoped they’d be after the trade, Denver is trying to erase the McDaniels mistake. The team is now beginning the John Fox era with another young quarterback, Tim Tebow.

“Chicago got the big prize here,” Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. said. “The way this trade worked out for both Chicago and Denver is proof why teams don’t trade young, franchise quarterbacks. It’s just not something you do.”

What bothers Williamson and Horton most about the trade is what Denver did with the picks it got in the Cutler deal.

“The Broncos got value,” Williamson said, "but they squandered the picks.”

Because Denver made so many draft picks, it’s difficult to break down exactly what it received for Cutler. Denver originally sent Cutler and a fifth-round pick in 2009 (which turned out to be productive Bears receiver Johnny Knox) for quarterback Kyle Orton, first-round picks in 2009 and 2010 and a third-round pick in 2009.

Denver took defensive end/linebacker Robert Ayers with the 2009 first-round pick (No. 18). Ayers has shown some ability, but not as much as Denver hoped. It packaged the Bears’ 2009 third-round pick and its own third-round pick in a deal with Pittsburgh for the final pick of the second round and a fourth-round pick. Denver took tight end Richard Quinn in the second round and guard Seth Olsen with the fourth-round pick. Neither has made an impact. Pittsburgh took standout receiver Mike Wallace with the pick from Chicago.

Denver had the No. 11 pick in 2010 from the Bears. The pick was flipped several times and Denver packaged the compensation with other picks that resulted in the selections of receiver Demaryius Thomas, Tebow and receiver Eric Decker. All could have promising futures. The players selected by other teams as part of the 2010 trade were San Francisco first-round pick Anthony Davis, Philadelphia first-round pick Brandon Graham and New England fourth-round pick Aaron Hernandez.

Tangibly, it is safe to say Denver received Orton, Ayers, Quinn, Olsen and some of the trading power to help fuel the early 2010 selections.

Orton played well for Denver, but he could be traded if Denver gives Tebow the opportunity to start in 2011, which is expected. Ayers will have a chance to play defensive end with Fox’s defense likely going to a 4-3 scheme, but he still doesn’t look like a foundation player. It has to eat at Denver fans that the Broncos passed on linebacker Clay Matthews in favor of Ayers. Matthews is a star for Green Bay.

"Denver could have gotten so much more,” Horton said. “You saw Chicago get Knox and Pittsburgh get Wallace in this deal, and you just have to think the Broncos wasted a great opportunity here.

“The Broncos have to hope Tebow is a hit or this franchise will [be] set back for years. You look at Cutler, Brandon Marshall [traded to Miami], Peyton Hillis [traded to Cleveland], Mike Wallace and look at all the missed chances. This could be a very good team. But it’s starting over all because of this [Cutler] trade.”

Chicago is one game away from the Super Bowl.

“It’s not difficult to argue who won this trade,” Williamson said. “It wasn’t the Broncos.”

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcwest/post...end-for-denver
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:08 AM   #2
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not this sh it again
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:09 AM   #3
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So true and so sad! McD was just way in over his head.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:10 AM   #4
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:10 AM   #5
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Cutler ruined the broncos!
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:10 AM   #6
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Who cares at this point? I certainly don't.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:13 AM   #7
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love reading this, i bet chicagos defense loves being overshadowed like this. cutler led a statistically below average defense in basically every category including scoring, while the defense was top 5 in nearly every category, not to mention special teams being best in the league. but cutler is magically the reason they are winners now?
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:13 AM   #8
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This is a bit maddening to me because, while the Broncos probably ****ed up a lot of things in regards to the Cutler trade, I sincerely doubt we'd be in the AFC championship on Sunday if Jay Cutler was still our QB. This is not an apples to apples argument, but stupid idiots like the Williamson boys mentioned above like to make it simple. Plus, its not like Cutler threw for 4,500 yards and 35 TDs. He didnt **** up an offense whos team is lead by their defense. Jay's done a good job, but as said, its essentially the same team that Grossman led to the Super Bowl only 3 years before. The Broncos are riddled with problems, problems the bears dont have. Was it a good trade for the Broncos? No, of course not, we were 4-12. But it's not like we traded them Peyton Manning either.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gutless Drunk View Post

"Denver could have gotten so much more, Horton said. You saw Chicago get Knox and Pittsburgh get Wallace in this deal, and you just have to think the Broncos wasted a great opportunity here.
I'll leave it to other to dissect the article as a whole, but the logic of this argument (and I've heard it a lot before) makes no sense. The Broncos did not trade Knox to Chicago - they traded a 5th round pick. The Bears, to their credit, drafted well in that spot and got a starting WR. That fact has nothing to do with the value of what Denver gave up. If Denver held onto that pick, they wouldn't have drafted Knox and likely wouldn't have drafted a starter at all.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:17 AM   #10
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burger bill stating the obvious two months too late?!?!

who knew
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid A View Post
...the logic of this argument (and I've heard it a lot before) makes no sense. The Broncos did not trade Knox to Chicago - they traded a 5th round pick. The Bears, to their credit, drafted well in that spot and got a starting WR. That fact has nothing to do with the value of what Denver gave up. If Denver held onto that pick, they wouldn't have drafted Knox and likely wouldn't have drafted a starter at all.
Yup, I made a similar point in another thread earlier today. So far Chi has done better with the assets they received. That doesn't change the value of the original exchange.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:22 AM   #12
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:22 AM   #13
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as someone mentioned, we wouldn't be in preparing for the AFC title game if we still had Cutler now...

personally, i don't know why the Bears wouldnt have been in the NFC title game anyway had they kept Orton...has Cutler really been the difference maker for the Bears?...or has it been the same thing as always, the defense?...

well in any event, the article still rings plenty of truth....and the truth does hurt...we certainly couldnt be considered a "winner" in that whole ordeal...
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsiguy96 View Post
love reading this, i bet chicagos defense loves being overshadowed like this. cutler led a statistically below average defense in basically every category including scoring, while the defense was top 5 in nearly every category, not to mention special teams being best in the league. but cutler is magically the reason they are winners now?

Kyle Orton didn't win these kinds of games for them:
http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/201012...G16/jets@bears
http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/201011...2/eagles@bears


You're crazy if you think that the Bears team doesn't appreciate the contributions that Jay has made to their run up to the NFC Championship game.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:25 AM   #15
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Man, for a second there I almost thought Williamson was going to have an intelligent article, opening up with the '06 trade up.

If instead of going up to grab Cutler we'd done the smart thing and grabbed Haloti Ngata and Mike Shanahan walks away with a draft class that yields Ngata and Doom to fix a DL in desperate need.

We likely win the wild card, possibly even repeat as AFC West champs with key wins over the Chargers. Coyer stays on and we continue our most recent stretch of defensive continuity. Better yet, we don't sacrifice the entire '07 draft where we had an extra 3rd to chase Jim Bates' system fits.

Al Wilson might not have gotten the same career ending injury if Ngata was on the field but even if he had we could have then used our 2007 first on a MLB to replace him. The three MLBs taken after our pick? Jon Beason, Paul Posluszny, and David Harris. Hard to miss on that group. We retain an extra 3rd and then don't trade our entire second day and an '08 3rd to get Marcus Thomas, which leads to better organizational depth throughout the roster.

All of that cascades through and the Broncos are a far better team over the last several years who just so happen to be in the QB market with their late '10 pick where Tim Tebow happens to be available.

20/20 hindsight is a damn fun game.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:27 AM   #16
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Ok WE KNOW ALREADY! Man how long is burger bill gonna beat a dead horse!
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
Kyle Orton didn't win these kinds of games for them:
http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/201012...G16/jets@bears
http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/201011...2/eagles@bears


You're crazy if you think that the Bears team doesn't appreciate the contributions that Jay has made to their run up to the NFC Championship game.
well of course they do, he's their quarterback...but lets not pretend that Cutler is the reason theyre going to the NFC title game...in fact, the reason could actually be that they had to scale Cutler back, or in other words have him throw less because he'd get them in so much trouble with ints...

Orton had his moments just like Cutler did...remember the game against ATL when Orton led them back in the last moments of the game?...i can't remember if the Bears held on to win, but Orton certainly was the hero for the Bears that day...
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:27 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsiguy96 View Post
love reading this, i bet chicagos defense loves being overshadowed like this. cutler led a statistically below average defense in basically every category including scoring, while the defense was top 5 in nearly every category, not to mention special teams being best in the league. but cutler is magically the reason they are winners now?
http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nf...ael&id=6028545

" Julius Peppers could see it to a great degree, which is why he signed with the Bears as a free agent when just about every team in the NFL would have welcomed him. "It wasn't a roll of the dice," Peppers said, when I asked him to look back. "It was a calculated approach I took. I'm looking at the roster and seeing Jay Cutler, a young playmaker coming into his prime as a quarterback. On the defensive side, I'm thinking, 'OK, if I'm out there with [Brian] Urlacher and [Lance] Briggs we should be in just about every game, just from a defensive standpoint."
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:29 AM   #19
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Quote:
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This is a bit maddening to me because, while the Broncos probably ****ed up a lot of things in regards to the Cutler trade, I sincerely doubt we'd be in the AFC championship on Sunday if Jay Cutler was still our QB.
I don't doubt it for a second. We had one of the best young offenses in the game that just needed to mature, and we had a stockpile of draft picks and more cap space than we had ever had in the salary cap era - nearly all of which to spend on defense.

Oh, we also had Mike Nolan.

Josh was an idiot.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:29 AM   #20
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... and there's rumor Denver could have had Ed Reed.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:30 AM   #21
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... and there's rumor Denver could have had Ed Reed.
Beautiful.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:32 AM   #22
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well of course they do, he's their quarterback...but lets not pretend that Cutler is the reason theyre going to the NFC title game...in fact, the reason could actually be that they had to scale Cutler back, or in other words have him throw less because he'd get them in so much trouble with ints...

Orton had his moments just like Cutler did...remember the game against ATL when Orton led them back in the last moments of the game?...i can't remember if the Bears held on to win, but Orton certainly was the hero for the Bears that day...

Whatever. You can minimize Cutler's contributions to that team all you want, but you come off looking like a fool. Orton didn't win games like I pointed out. Orton doesn't take games over on the strength of his arm like Cutler can and does.

Did they scale him back? Sure: he's a maturing quarterback. That's what young, dumb quarterbacks eventually do: they mature.

Downplay Cutler all you want, but he's playing in an NFC Championship game and he was a key contributor, not just in the regular season, but last week during an actual PLAYOFF GAME.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:35 AM   #23
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... and there's rumor Denver could have had Ed Reed.
/end thread
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:39 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Whatever. You can minimize Cutler's contributions to that team all you want, but you come off looking like a fool. Orton didn't win games like I pointed out. Orton doesn't take games over on the strength of his arm like Cutler can and does.

Did they scale him back? Sure: he's a maturing quarterback. That's what young, dumb quarterbacks eventually do: they mature.

Downplay Cutler all you want, but he's playing in an NFC Championship game and he was a key contributor, not just in the regular season, but last week during an actual PLAYOFF GAME.
No question Jay Cutler is doing what he needs to do to win. He's doing an ice job caretaking that offense. BUT, having said that, i dont think he's turning into peyton manning out there. Not to mention, and KC Joyner wrote a nice article about this, the Bears were the beneficiary of some good luck this year (and every team needs this to win). That said, they are playing very strong football. But lets be clear, the defense is the main reason the Bears are playing as well as they are. Again, if Cutler were on the broncos, ill safely assume the broncos would still be fairly ****
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:40 AM   #25
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I'll bet Bill pumped this one out while waiting in line at Sonic.
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