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Horse Tracks: The trade that sent Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears

Has it really been 8 years since Jay Cutler was traded from the Denver Broncos to the Chicago Bears?

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I remember it clearly. I woke up from a nap and turned on NFL Network and was shocked to hear reports that Jay Cutler wanted out of Denver. This couldn't be happening. I had invested a small fortune in Jay Cutler merchandise. He had played for my wife's alma mater. He was supposed to be the quarterback of the future for the Denver Broncos.

I couldn't believe it. Denver had just fired Mike Shanahan after missing the playoffs due to yet another late-season fade. The quarterback whisperer, Josh McDaniels was coming from New England to continue Jay's Pro Bowl progress. Sure he'd been thrown into a pool by the other pros there, but we already knew he wasn't very likable on a personal level. This was radical change and I didn't like it one bit.

As the saga played out, one thing became abundantly clear, Jay hated Josh McDaniels and wanted out of Denver.

At work one afternoon, I remember getting an alert that the trade was going down and multiple suitors were involved. This was a time before I, like many of us, weren't on twitter, so I had to keep refreshing various news sites so that I would know right away... and suddenly there it was.

The Denver Broncos have agreed in principle to trade quarterback Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears. Terms of the deal will be disclosed at a later time.

...he was gone.

Then details of the trade rolled in.

The Haul:

1st rounder in 2009 (#18 overall)
1st rounder in 2010 (to be determined)
3rd rounder in 2009 (#84)
QB, Kyle Orton

The Hauled-Off:

Jay Cutler
5th round pick in 2009(#140 overall)

The 1st rounder in 2009 (#18 overall) ended up being Robert Ayers, a solid contributor to the Broncos, but not an all-timer by any means. In 5 years with Denver, Ayers played in 72 games (27 starts), forced 3 fumbles, and netted 12 sacks.

The 1st rounder in 2010 (#11 overall) was traded to the San Francisco 49ers (who selected OT Anthony Davis). In return, Denver moved back two slots to #13 and acquired a 4th round pick (which was traded to New England and became Aaron Hernandez (crazy!). The Broncos then traded #13 overall to the Philadelphia Eagles (who selected DE Brandon Graham). In return, the Broncos moved back to #24. That pick was traded to New England and New England then turned around and traded it to Dallas (WR Dez Bryant). Finally, Denver traded a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rounder to Baltimore (DE Sergio Kindle, TE Ed Dickson, TE Dennis Pitta) and moved up to #25 overall and selected... Tim Tebow.

We all know the Tebow saga. It was the best of football and the absolute worst of football. I'll leave it to you all in the comments to hash that out.

The 3rd rounder in 2009 was packaged with another 3rd rounder and sent to the Pittsburgh Steelers (OG Kraig Urbik and  WR Mike Wallace) for a 2nd and 4th round picks (TE Richard Quinn and OG Seth Olsen).

Despite appearing in 29 games (4 starts), Richard Quinn only had 1 catch for 9-yards. Were it not for the bone-headed selection of CB Alphonso Smith, Richard Quinn would go down as the worst draft bust of the Josh McDaniels era.

The Broncos whiffed on the Seth Olsen selection, too. Olsen only appeared in three games during the one season he was with the team.

Needless to say, the idea of what we could do with the picks the Broncos got in the Cutler trade was much sexier than what Denver actually did with picks on draft day.

I didn't even talk about Kyle Orton!

We don't have to get into the recent history with the Broncos winning a Super Bowl and Jay Cutler being unceremoniously cut from the Bears earlier this offseason. Despite the reality of what Denver did with the draft picks, it's clear which franchise came out on top.'s just a shame it had to go down like it did. It makes you wonder what would have happened had Jay never forced the trade.


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