I don't write a lot of FanPosts anymore, but I wanted to write one tonight, because I think this situation calls for as much gravitas as this site can muster. Guru wrote a great front page story, speaking for MHR, and he is 100% correct. This will represent my own spin, but the same basic idea. Consider this to be akin to the best practices of political messaging, where if your constituents don't believe you the first time, you simply keep repeating yourself.
1. All this stuff about the Broncos having no leverage was total bunk, and I will share with you that a lot of emails traveled between the MHR staff to that effect yesterday. Every media person who repeated this nonsense is a fool who was trying to sell advertising. Hold them accountable, because they got this one woefully, abysmally wrong.
2. The Broncos won this trade, which is not to say that the Bears lost it. Jay Cutler just became the best QB the Bears have had since Sid Luckman, without even taking a snap for them. He is uniquely well-suited to throw the ball in the windy Chicago winters, with the strong arm that he has. I congratulate the Bears, and I wish Jay Cutler well, personally.
The Broncos won because they got a better package of assets than any team has gotten for any one player in the free agency era. One could argue that the Cowboys did a little better for Herschel Walker, but really, it helps their cause that they maximized the draft picks they got.
The Broncos announced that they'd take no less than 2 #1's for Cutler, and then they got more than that. They did very well here, make no mistake.
3. I don't care whose fault this is, or who is telling the truth. Nobody really knows either way, except for the principals, and it doesn't matter anyway. The bottom line is that the team couldn't tolerate this situation any longer, and that even recently extended to the rest of the players.
For better or worse, the McDaniels/Xanders regime is the Denver Broncos right now. Pro Football Weekly is usually good, but this article is flat-out stupid. The Broncos did not cave to Jay Cutler. The Broncos refused to cave to Jay Cutler. He wanted them to beg him to come back, and give him a new contract, and give him a face-saving out to this whole mess.
The organization correctly determined that caving to Jay Cutler would undermine McDaniels' ability to effectively coach the football team. What do you think Bill Parcells would have done? McDaniels is effectively Parcells' coaching grandson, so don't be surprised, be impressed. It takes a lot of chutzpah to handle a situation like this, and I guarantee that real football people (or anybody who understands conditions necessary to effective leadership) are universally impressed with how McDaniels recovered from his initial rookie mistake. The team knows unequivocally that there are no favorites, and that nothing comes ahead of the program. That is the first step to winning a championship.
4. Kyle Orton improved greatly this past season. These are things I wrote about him, when I had no vested interest in him or his career.
Week 6 - 16. Kyle Orton has really turned into a pretty good QB, and it was a shame the Bears lost when he played so well. Maybe it will make teams think twice about the idiotic squib kick.
Week 5 - 15. In addition to Forte, Kyle Orton, Devin Hester, and Greg Olsen have emerged as legitimate skill position players for the Bears. They are dangerous this season, and I expect them to win the NFC North.
I had the prediction wrong where the Bears would win the division, but that wasn't Orton's fault. He played well all year, and the defense got banged up and faded down the stretch. Interestingly, Orton's record as a starter is 21-12. Chris Simms, for his part, led Tampa Bay to the playoffs in his first year as a starter.
Both of these QBs are good NFL players, and with the talent the Broncos have on offense, and the good offensive scheme, I don't expect a lot of dropoff, whichever player wins the job. I think it's very healthy that there are two good players on the team, to compete for the job.
5. Something very subtle has happened, that I don't think anybody else has noticed it yet. John Elway was finally succeeded, perception-wise, by Jay Cutler. Jay has now been shipped out of town, before he can be considered a pretender to the throne, so this perception will stick.
Jay didn't fill John's shoes, by any means, but he's the second-best QB in Broncos history, and he has been well-regarded enough to put the replacing-John theme to bed. That is a big accomplishment.
Now, the next QB has to replace Jay Cutler, which is a much less daunting task than replacing John Elway. Broncos fans will always love John, but I am personally pretty happy that the Idiot Media has moved past him, at this point.
6. Having 5 of the first 84 picks in the draft means you should be able to land 5 starters. More quality football players are on the way, and I will have in-depth analysis about this in next Monday's ST&NO.
I am proud to be a Broncos fan today, as I have always been, and I am excited for the future. Sunk costs don't matter to the decisions we face today, and I believe that this is the first step to major improvement.