If anyone doubted that it would take long for the Broncos to make a move to trade quarterback Jay Cutler – think again. Denver made a stunner of a move on Thursday, trading the unhappy Cutler to the Chicago Bears for their 2008 starting QB – Kyle Orton, a first and third round pick in 2009, and a first-round pick in 2010.
Also involved in the deal was Denver giving the Bears back a fifth-round pick in 2009. That pick was acquired by the Broncos from the Seattle Seahawks in a trade for wide receiver Keary Colbert. Cutler is mid-way through a six-year, $48 million deal he inked as the 11th overall pick out of Vanderbilt in the 2006 draft. As a starter, he’s 17-20, but the Broncos defense was more to blame for that than Cutler.
In his first full season as a starter in 2007, he completed 63.6 percent of his passes for 3,497 yards with 20 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and an 88.1 passer rating. Last season he completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 4,526 yards with 25 TDs, 18 interceptions and an 86.0 rating. By comparison, the Bears’ single-season record for passing yards is 3,838, set by Erik Kramer back in 1995.
The move puts Cutler back with the team that he rooted for growing up. He grew up in Santa Claus, Indiana, and was a Bears fan as a kid. He will be back with two players he played with at Vanderbilt – wide receiver Earl Bennett and offensive tackle Chris Williams.
The trade is a blow to a couple of other teams that lost out on Cutler – the biggest of which was the New York Jets, who seemed to have their eyes on Cutler from the moment it became known that he was available. Another team that wanted him bad was Tampa Bay, also the Redskins and Lions along with the Browns were in the mix.