Reports early Monday morning are that Jay Cutler has formally asked for a trade out of Denver. His house is on the market, his bags are packed, and he's not reporting for the Broncos' upcoming mini camp.
There are three reasons that Angelo should want to make this move:
1. The Detroit Lions have openly coveted Cutler.
2. The Minnesota Vikings have openly coveted Cutler.
3. Jay Cutler is better than Kyle Orton (the picture of him above... yeah, that's a Pro Bowl jersey he's wearing. And it's his, not a fashion statement).
Let's look at each of these reasons in a little more depth.
First, the Lions want Cutler. Really? A winless team wants a Pro Bowl quarterback? That's about as shocking as a AA Battery in the bathtub.
Why should this influence Angelo pursuing Cutler? Because the Bears couldn't cover Calvin Johnson when Jon Kitna and Dan Orlovsky were throwing him the ball. If nothing else, Angelo should try to keep Cutler out of the division and out of Detroit.
Secondly, the Vikings were pretty much a quarterback away from being a Super Bowl contender last year. If you add Cutler to an offense with Adrian Peterson and Bernard Berrian, they're the leaders in the clubhouse heading into the draft.
Yeah, they just traded a fourth-round pick for Sage Rosenfels. But let's get serious for a moment: if you could start Rosenfels or Cutler for your home opener in 2009, do you really think anyone in their right mind says they'd take Rosenfels? Cutler isn't named for a spice in a Simon and Garfunkel song, but he can throw the ball 50 yards. Advantage Cutler.
Again, just as with Detroit, Angelo should be trying to acquire Cutler in an effort to not only strategically help the Bears, but also to keep him off the Vikings' roster.
Thirdly, Cutler is better than Kyle Orton. I'm not going to get on too much of a soap box here regarding comments from Jerry Angelo this off-season regarding the Bears' quarterback situation, but he has said in the past that he wants there to be competition to make the team better.
Why not eliminate the competition and bring in the best arm the team would have had since Erik Kramer?
I will say this a million times: I have nothing against Kyle Orton as the Bears' starting quarterback. I think that, with health and a legitimate receiver opposite Devin Hester and outside Greg Olsen, Orton could get the Bears back into the playoffs.
But Cutler is better than Orton. He has better mobility, a better arm, and more experience.
So Angelo should be DOING HIS JOB (i.e.: looking to improve the team), and if a Pro Bowl quarterback is available and he's better than what the Bears have, Angelo should be trying to improve his roster.
In review, Angelo should be trying to get Cutler to A) improve the Bears, B) keep him out of Detroit and C) keep him out of Minnesota.
So what would the Bears need to give up to get Cutler?
Well, first of all, the No. 18 pick in this year's draft is probably a part of any package. Yes, Kansas City gave up just a high-second round pick for both Mike Vrabel and Matt Cassell, but Angelo doesn't have the luxury of having his former employer making him an offer he can't refuse like Mr. Pioli did with the Chiefs.
I am also going to say that Orton would be part of the deal, for more reasons than the Bears not needing him any more. If the new GM and head coach in Denver want to put their futures on the arm of either a rookie or Jeff Garcia, that's fine.
But if the Broncos could bring in a potential replacement in Orton, or at worst a backup who has been successful in the NFL, it selfishly helps their potential job security as well as fills a need on their roster.
I'll also say the Bears might be able to throw in Nathan Vasher. The Broncos have brought in Andre Goodman as a corner and Brian Dawkins as a safety, but Champ Bailey has had some health issues the past couple years and the Broncos released Dre Bly earlier this winter. Vasher would add depth in the Broncos secondary.
So I'll propose the following deal:
Bears send Orton, Vasher, the No. 18 pick and the Bears' third round pick to Denver in exchange for Cutler and Denver's second round pick (No. 48).
The Broncos would then have a quarterback to compete for the starting job with Chris Simms and/or Jeff Garcia, a corner to add depth to their secondary, and two picks in the top 20 in the first round of the draft.
The Bears would get a franchise quarterback and, in acquiring the Broncos second round pick, the Bears would have two picks with which to either trade back up into the late first round or early second round, or to add depth with drafting talent.
Jerry Angelo has a history of trading down in the draft, so unloading the first-round pick wouldn't be an enormous stretch of the imagination. With consecutive picks in the middle of the second round, the Bears could land a receiver like Kenny Britt or Louis Murphy, a safety like William Moore of David Bruton, or a lineman.
The only two things this deal requires to happen is the Broncos willingness to listen to an offer, and Jerry Angelo growing a pair and making an offer. It sounds like Cutler's forcing the Broncos to listen (again), so I'm encouraging Angelo to now hold up his end of the bargain.