A Necessary Gamble: Breaking Down the Jay Cutler-Kyle Orton Trade

Henry HAnalyst IApril 2, 2009

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 21:  Quarterback Kyle Orton #18 of the Chicago Bears calls a play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Soldier Field on September 21, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. The Buccaneers won 27-24 in OT. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

The Jay Cutler situation is nearing its end.

After weeks of hurt feelings and immaturity, on Cutler's part, and cleverly avoided questions, on McDaniels' part, the Broncos have found their deal. 

Jay Cutler will be departing the Mile High City for the Windy City, Chicago, Illinois.

Bears quarterback Kyle Orton and the 17th pick this year will be exchanged for Cutler. There are several other draft picks involved, most importantly a first-round pick in 2010, but these should not drastically impact either team.

At first glance, this trade may look like a bit one-sided. As of now, Jay Cutler is clearly a better player than Orton, and recently, the Bears have done a marginal job finding first round studs.

If you dig a little deeper though, it appears that Pat Bowlen, Josh McDaniels, and Brian Xanders made the best deal they could and got a very fair package for Cutler.

The Kyle Orton era will soon be underway in Denver. While this trade is certainly a gamble for both sides, I do not believe that Orton will be a major step backwards for the Broncos.

First, Orton is 26 years old and was a fourth-round draft pick out of Purdue University. He stands six feet, four inches tall and weighs 217 pounds.

In 2008, he threw for 2,972 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He missed one game due to a leg injury. He was also sacked 27 times for a total loss of 160 yards.

While his statistics from the 2008 season may not be Jay Cutler's, they are respectable.

It is important to note that Orton had very limited offensive weapons, especially in his receiving corps which consisted of Devin Hester, Marty Booker, Brandon Lloyd, and Rashied Davis. These are not exactly household names.

Despite this, Orton still managed nearly 3,000 yards and probably would have reached that mark had he not missed a game.

In Denver, Orton will have a well-regarded receiving corps, a very respectable running game, and a stellar offensive line to support him.

Orton can make almost all the passes and is a "real" football player. His right arm is not the same as Cutler's, but he does not need it to be.

He is a smarter player on the field than Cutler was. The days of forced throws into triple coverage should be over.

Josh McDaniels is famous in the football world for his development of Matt Cassel. Now, he will try his hand again with Orton.

Denver fans should be confident that McDaniels will be teach Orton the offensive scheme during training camp, and Kyle will be ready to lead the Broncos into their week one game this September.

In all the talk about the Cutler for Orton deal, it is sometimes forgotten that this trade also includes draft picks, first-round draft picks!

The Broncos will now have the 12th and 17th picks in the draft. They will use one of these on a defensive player, but they will have many options for the other one.

One option is trading the 17th pick for a top wide receiver such as Braylon Edwards or use it to draft a guy like Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Brandon Marshall will miss training camp and possibly up to eight games of the season, so the Broncos are going to need another receiver to take his place alongside Eddie Royal, Jabar Gaffney, and Brandon Stokley.

Even without a new receiver, Orton will have many more options to work with than he has in the past. He can also count on having enough time to make his reads and find the open man behind the offensive line that gave up just 12 sacks in 2008.

Although it will be difficult for almost every Denver Broncos fan to see Jay Cutler suit up for another team next season, this was a trade that was absolutely necessary.

Cutler was not going to play for the Broncos in 2009. I hoped it would work out, but it didn't. Cutler proved too immature and Bowlen too distant.

The Bears will be getting a new start with Cutler. The quarterback they have been missing ever since Jim McMahon.

Now, they must hope that Cutler will want to play in Chicago and hope he likes Lovie Smith. He will be under a microscope to see how he reacts at the first inkling of trouble.

The Broncos should be getting a leader. Orton was a team captain for the Bears in 2008, and hopefully, he will be well-liked in the locker room.

Orton needs time to gel with his new teammates and set up a home in Colorado; he should show up at the optional mini-camp and answer his text messages from Coach McDaniels.

This was necessary. It was going to happen as soon as Jay Cutler unexpectedly heard his name on the news. It is unfortunate, but I believe that the Denver Broncos are better off.