The Cutler/Orton Trade Revisited

I am seeing some people spread some serious misinformation about the Cutler/Orton trade from a couple of years ago, so here is a very clear rundown of what happened with the trade, and what we got in return.  This is a partial repost from a previous fanpost of mine, with some new details added in.  Follow me after the jump.

First, we're going to ignore what other teams did with the picks we traded away - it's irrelevant because Denver had no control with what they did with those picks, and we undoubtedly would have picked someone else anyway.

It starts with Keary Colbert.  We traded Keary Colbert to Seattle for a 2009 fifth rounder.

We then traded that fifth rounder and Jay Cutler to Chicago for Kyle Orton, two first-round picks (2009 #18 and 2010 #11), and a third-rounder (2009 #84).

Our 2009 #18 became Robert Ayers.

Our 2009 #84 got packaged with our other third-rounder, which became a 2nd and a 4th, which in turn became Richard Quinn and Seth Olsen.  They both became busts, so we can reduce that down to say that our 2009 #84 became a bust.

Our 2010 #11 became complicated.  Here are the details.


  1. We traded #11 for #13 and #113
  2. We traded #13 for #24, #70, and #87
  3. We traded #24 and #113 for #22, which became Demaryius Thomas
  4. #87 became Eric Decker.

This leaves #70 as the last remaining piece of the Jay Cutler trade.  What this means is that from trading away Jay Cutler, we got Kyle Orton, Robert Ayers, a bust, Demaryius Thomas, and Eric Decker.   (Edit: I meant the third-round bust, not that Ayers is a bust.  Ayers is definitely not a bust.)

Since we waived Kyle Orton, the absolute harshest way of looking at it is that we got nothing from Kyle Orton, even though that discounts any positive impact and leadership we got from him - he also probably had a positive impact on the development of other players.  But if completely cross him out, as well as the third-round bust, then at a bare minimum what we got from Jay Cutler is Ayers, Thomas, and Decker.

However, like I said, there's also the matter of that #70.  And the only way to trace through what happened with #70 is to pull in one other player we traded away, and that's Brandon Marshall.  Here's the rest of the rundown.

  1. We traded Brandon Marshall for #43 and a 2011 2nd rounder (#46).
  2. We traded #43, #70, and our normal 4th-rounder (#114) for #25.
  3. #25 became Tim Tebow.
  4. Our 2011 2nd rounder (#46) became Orlando Franklin.

So there we have it.  Now I know there were other trades involving Scheffler, Cox, etc, but they were all self-contained and weren't tangled in with the Cutler trade.  When we limit our view to the Cutler trade though, that's the story.

So let's summarize.

We gave up:

  1. Keary Colbert (or a 5th-rounder, depending on how you look at it)
  2. Jay Cutler
  3. Brandon Marshall
  4. Our 2010 4th rounder (#114)

We received:

  1. Kyle Orton (since departed)
  2. Tim Tebow
  3. Demaryius Thomas
  4. Eric Decker
  5. Robert Ayers
  6. A third-round bust
  7. Orlando Franklin

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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