In 2009, after new head coach McDaniels flirted with his former team to try and trade for Cassel, Denver's current quarterback Cutler felt disrespected and demanded a trade.
There were many teams rumored to be in the running. In fact, on the day of the trade, ESPN called the Redskins' beat reporter for ESPN 980 in D.C. to get reaction to Cutler going to Washington.
Then, at the last minute, the Bears came through with a deal the Broncos couldn't refuse.
For Cutler, the Bears sent Denver Kyle Orton, a first- and third-round picks in the 2009 NFL Draft, as well as a first-round pick in 2010.
It appeared the Broncos made out like bandits, especially after the solid numbers Orton put up in 2009.
However, the Broncos didn't have a winning season in 2009 or 2010, and McDaniels was fired while Orton was replaced with fan-favorite—but shaky—QB Tim Tebow.
As for the Bears, 2009 wasn't stellar either, but in 2010, Cutler—in spite of being the most sacked QB in the league—led the Bears to the NFC Championship game.
Perhaps the Bears knew exactly what they were doing.