Reality Check: Jay Cutler Receives His Wish

Darren FeeneyCorrespondent IApril 3, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 30:  Jay Cutler #6 of the Denver Broncos looks on against the New York Jets on November 30, 2008 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Flashback to this time last year and you'll recall another exasperating saga. 

At least this one didn’t extend into the summer.

For the first time in loyal sport enthusiast lives’, they were afraid to turn on the ESPN with the likelihood of hearing "Brett Favre."

This year, the "Jay Cutler Sweepstakes" have dominated headlines.

With the biggest move of the off season, the Broncos have granted Cutler’s trade demand, dealing the petulant but talented quarterback and fifth round pick (2009) to Chicago in exchange for QB Kyle Orton, two first round picks (2009, 2010) and third round pick (2009). 

It’s been a busy off-season for the Broncos with 12 offseason acquisitions and now two more draft picks to work with.  In the span of two months, the Broncos have cut ties with their franchise quarterback and longtime head coach Head Coach Mike Shanahan.  

The Chicago Bears outbid the Cleveland Browns, Buccaneers, Jets, Washington Redskins a nd several other teams as Cutler becomes the 22nd starting quarterback for the Bears since 1990.  Chicago is still searching for a solution since Jim McMahon led the “Super Bowl Shuffle” in 1984.

Cutler arrives in Chicago without a clear number-one option at wide receiver while leaving behind an arsenal of offensive weapons, most notably pro-bowl WR Brandon Marshall and youthful targets WR Eddie Royal and TE Tony Scheffler.

Cutler is now projected to line up alongside WR Rashied Davis and WR Earl Bennett, who finished with a combined two touchdowns last season.

For Denver, they are now able to turn a new leaf with first year head coach Josh McDaniels who signed a four-year, $8 million contract in January. 

The Chicago swap features a surplus of draft picks and a sturdy quarterback with Kyle Orton.  Orton was 21-12 as a starter in his three seasons with the Bears including a 9-6 mark in 2008. Cutler is 17-20, never made the playoffs and has never had a winning season.

Accordingly, the Bears trade away Orton and three draft picks for an upgrade at the quarterback position. 

Chicago fans: your team just got fleeced.

What about the offensive line?  Sure, the recent signing of seven time Pro-Bowler OT Orlando Pace will help—for now.  

How about the receivers?  Cutler definitely needs an reliable option in addition to TE Greg Olsen.  The fact that the Bears defense played its worst football in nearly a decade doesn’t help matters.

The Bears traded away their first round for a couple of years for a guy who throws a solid ball and can’t play .500 football in the AFC West.

The most prominent figure in the franchise, six-time pro bowl LB Brian Urlacher, did not exactly give Cutler a ringing endorsement: "I guess we got better as a team," Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago front office must know Cutler can shuffle.