A lot of people that I talk to tell me that trading Jay Cutler was the biggest mistake a coach could have ever made. And to that, I strongly disagree. Although Cutler was a franchise QB AND chosen by most polls to be one of the top 10 in the entire league, I believe Kyle Orton could have done just the same.
Granted, Kyle Orton didn't have the best season last year, but I don't think ANY quarterback does great when your best receiver is your running back. That being said, any QB who throws 18 touchdowns, runs for three, and throws for 2972 yards with the main source as the backfield definitely has potential to be a franchise quarterback (in my perspective).
Another reason is because of Denver's brand new head coach, Josh McDaniels. If I recall, McDaniels was a part of New England's organization when they won the Super Bowl in 2001. McDanials had worked with Brady, who became the MVP AND the youngest quarterback to win a super bowl.
Go back two years ago, when Tom Brady broke Peyton Manning's record for most touchdown passes in a single season (50), was named NFL MVP for the season, AND Offensive Player of the Year.
An impressive QB, yes, but you can't say McDaniels had nothing to do with it. McDaniels also helped improve Matt Cassel last year, and as you all know, Cassel was good enough that the Chiefs traded for him to be their starting QB.
To me, those are legit enough statistics to the point where I can rest easy knowing McDaniels will continue to improve Kyle Orton. On a side note, Orton will have Brandon Stokley (one of the best slot receivers in the NFL), Eddie Royal (One of the top five rookie receivers in the previous season), Tony Scheffler (Denver's passing receiver, and a good one at that) and Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall to throw to.
And I am very excited to see what he'll do for us this season