Friday, April 03, 2009

Who really won the Cutler/Orton trade?


To hear either side of it, nobody is happy with this deal. From an unbiased perspective, the Cutler to the Bears trade was decidedly one sided. Of course, it takes a little parsing to see who won this deal, but not much. The primary worry on either side is as follows.
Broncos fans are upset because they like Jay Cutler. They liked Mike Shanahan too, which was the bigger deal. The Broncos chased Shanahan out of town, which lead to the hiring of Josh McDaniels and the eventual alienation of Cutler. Essentially, Broncos fans are upset because they feel like the Broncos' administration is ruining the team. It's a legitimate argument, especially if you are close to the situation and have a fondness for the individual players. Bears fans, on the other hand, are upset that they gave up too much.
I lived in Minnesota during the late 80s and early 90s. I remember the excitement among Vikings fans when they acquired Herschel Walker. Cowboys fans may have been upset that they gave up such a quality young running back. It's sort of the same situation here, except it's slanted even further towards the Broncos than it was towards the Cowboys.
The Broncos will get two first round picks and a third round pick, which surely isn't the same sort of draft pick fleecing that the Cowboys put on the Vikings, but it's awfully close. The Cowboys used their picks in order to add Emmitt Smith, Darren Woodson and Russell Maryland, all key components to the Cowboys' mid 90's Super Bowl successes. The best part for Denver fans is that the Broncos don't necessarily have to replace the guy they traded like the Cowboys did, needing to burn a pick on Emmit Smith.
Kyle Orton, the other component to the deal, struggled in Chicago. It seems to be a trend in Chicago, however. The best receiver on the team is Devin Hester, Kyle Orton didn't succeed there because there was nothing around him, not because he was a poor quarterback. Sure, he gets rattled, but he seemed to be comign around last season, hamstrung only by his ineffective team.
In a division where defenses are generally suspect, I would anticipate Kyle Orton, not Jay Cutler, to end up being the pudgy faced quarterback who doesn't look like a pro athlete to be the one that succeeds with his new team next year. Furthermore, this may be a trade that puts the Broncos over the top, making them an AFC dynasty for years to come.
Of course, they still need to make the right draft choices....

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