The Chicago Bears Pay a Steep Price for Jay Cutler

John McKennaContributor IApril 2, 2009

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 28:  Quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Denver Broncos throws a pass against the San Diego Chargers during the NFL game at Qualcomm Stadium on December 28, 2008 in San Diego, California. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 52--21.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

In a surprise move today, the Chicago Bears picked up a grumpy Jay Cutler and a fifth-round pick, in 2009, from the Denver Broncos. The Broncos got Kyle Orton, two first-round picks and a third-round pick.


Analysts across the country have thrown up their hands and declared "Da" Bears to be instant division favorites, but I don’t think it's that simple.


Yes, Cutler posted a sexy 4,526 yards and 62.3 completion percentage last season, but those numbers don’t tell the whole story. His touchdown-interception ratio, 25-18, was nothing spectacular, and his passer rating of 86.0, was not good enough to crack the NFL's top ten.


Now, Cutler leaves Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall and moves to a team that lacks any top-shelf wide receivers. Devin Hester has the potential to blossom into a great deep threat, but there are few options beyond him. Cutler is the best quarterback the Bears have seen in a while, but that doesn’t mean the receivers are any different.


The whole issue with Cutler whining about trade rumors also bothers me. Cutler has been around the NFL for several seasons now. He should understand that football is nothing more than a business, and he is nothing more than a product. If he can get all bent out of shape over trade rumors, what else will set him off?


On top of this, the Bears gave up a big heap of their future to the Broncos. They offered up not one, but two first-round picks. In case that wasn’t enough, they threw in a third rounder to boot.


The most immediate impact for the Broncos is Kyle Orton who proved to be a capable quarterback last season. He threw for 2,972 yards and put up a 79.6 passer rating. Now that he has a better receiving corps, his numbers certainly will improve.


Denver came out the winners in this trade. Orton was not too far behind Cutler in terms of effectiveness, and those draft picks will look mighty nice down the road.


The Bears need to spend this offseason picking up some veteran receivers to stabilize a talented put unproven group of players. Cutler is an upgrade for the Bears in what is essentially a three-team division, but he doesn't make them a lock to win it.