For the Bears, a team that hasn't had a headline quarterback since
Having won the Cutler sweepstakes -- and rapidly at that -- the Bears have instantly upgraded their quarterback position to the best in the NFC North. They did so at a very steep price -- two first-round picks, a third-rounder and incumbent starting quarterback
Here are some quick-hit observations about the deal:
• While the Broncos could ride out the 2009 season with Orton as their quarterback, getting the Bears' No. 18 overall pick might put them in prime position to draft Kansas State quarterback
• Then again, Denver now owns two first-round picks, No. 12 and No. 18, meaning it has more than enough ammo to move up in the top 10 of the draft and select USC quarterback
Oh, the irony, given it was McDaniels' interest in Cassel that started this entire melodrama.
• The Bears, long a defense-led team, might have believed their Super Bowl window of opportunity was closing and were motivated to give themselves one more shot at the ring they almost won in 2006. Chicago isn't ancient on defense, but middle linebacker and defensive leader
• With Orton going to Denver, is it possible that Chicago opts to re-sign free-agent quarterback
• Getting two No. 1's, a 2009 third-rounder and Orton for Cutler and a fifth-round pick this year strikes me as the Broncos having hit the mother lode. In the long run, it matters greatly of course who the Broncos select with their two first-round picks, but they got a more than suitable bounty for a 25-year-old starting quarterback with Pro Bowl talent. Given that everyone knew Cutler and the Broncos had to divorce at this point, Denver couldn't have done any better at turning a negative into a potential plus.
• The Broncos were wise to trade Cutler to an NFC team they will only have to face once every four years, meaning he can't really haunt them. Even better, Denver and Chicago won't meet in 2009 unless it's in next February's Super Bowl (wouldn't that be fun?).
• Get ready to hear more than we care to about Cutler growing up a Bears fan in Indiana. I'm already sick of the homecoming angle, and I don't even know anything but the scantest of details.
• While I'm sure Bears fans are a happy bunch about now -- they've got a Pro Bowl quarterback to watch for the first time since McMahon went to Hawaii after the team's storied 1985 season -- is there anyone in Chicago willing to completely overlook the way Cutler got himself banished from Denver? Any way you cut it, Cutler comes out of this saga having devalued his reputation within the league, and it'll be up to him to now prove he isn't the thin-skinned, immature crybaby he has seemed for the past five weeks.
• Who are the losers in this deal? The Jets, who now might have to make due with