Blog Entry

Broncos & Bears Trade Outcome

Posted on: April 12, 2009 11:36 am
Edited on: April 12, 2009 11:36 am

The Broncos traded Jay Cutler to the Bears for Kyle Orton, a first and third round pick this year, and a first round pick next year.   It’s natural to look at the deal and speculate who came out on top.  The Bears received a Pro Bowl quarterback and have something to build around.   The problem is they sold their draft picks to Denver for the next few years.  The Bears still can add some protection for Cutler and pick up quality receivers through free agency or late round draft picks.

What the Broncos received will depend on how they use their draft picks this year and next.  It also depends on how Orton fits into the new offensive game plan.  So the result of the trade may not be realized for a few years.  The speculation on how each team did depends on your perspective.  The Bears could have just added the player that gets them to the playoff.  The Broncos have enough draft picks to retool a Defense that was near the bottom to the league last year.  If Orton works out then they can spend even more draft pick next year on Defense.  If he doesn’t then they have enough fire power to pick up a quality quarterback in the first round.  If history has taught us anything its that not every Pro Bowler is a first round draft pick.

While I think Cutler was a quality quarterback, relationships deteriorated with the Broncos and ultimately he didn’t want to play in Denver any longer.  With that in mind, the Broncos received quite a bit from the Bears in the trade.  I think in the short term the Bears are better than last year due to the trade.  But until the Broncos make their draft picks, I don’t think we can evaluate them.  The Broncos Offense was ranked fairly high in the NFL last year.  I can only assume we were going to put in a new Offensive game plan with the new head coach.  How Cutler, now Orton will adjust and execute that game plan will determine if there has been a slip in the Offense.  The draft pick the Broncos make in the first few rounds of the draft should tell the fans how long something about where the organization is going.  If they bundle draft pick and trade up for a quarterback I think we are in for a long rebuilding period.  If we get some quality Densive players, the road to recovery should be shorter. 

What I’m going to miss is the Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers rivalry.  Now the Bears fans have that with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. 






Category: NFL

Since: Jul 30, 2009
Posted on: September 12, 2009 3:22 pm

Broncos & Bears Trade Outcome

Cutler isn't the savior the Beartards think he is.

NFL Handicapping: Will Be Bust

by Robert Ferringo - 8/17/2009

The Jay Cutler Situation is the reason that I will always be able to make money .

Four years ago I was writing on this very site that Dante Culpepper was the most overrated quarterback in the NFL. As you might expect, this statement was met with a waterfall of vitriol and was nearly as popular as Rick Pitino at a Birther’s rally. After all, Culpepper had been to multiple Pro Bowls and was coming off a year in which he threw for 4,700 yards.  He was the man, right? Well, not to me. And over the past four seasons Culpepper has played in just 22 games with four different teams and posted a 5-17 record. Oh, and he’s a charter member of the Fantasy Football Hall of Shame.

Heading into the 2005 season I also wrote an article about how overrated was and discussed some off-field incidents that I thought were huge red flags. Same thing: people pointed to Vick’s Pro Bowl invites as proof that my theory was absurd. However, Vick played two more years of mediocre football (15-16 team record, passer rating never above 76.0) before he was sent to the pokey for torturing, maiming and mutilating defenseless animals.

So it looks like I’m 2-for-2. So now let’s go for the trifecta: Jay Cutler is one of the most overrated players in the NFL and he will never be a consistent winning quarterback in the NFL.

In a matter of full disclosure, I am a lifelong Bears fan. But the only thing I love in football more than the Bears is winning money for my clients and myself. And what I think we have here is a classic case of unsubstantiated hype leading to inflated expectations. The media touted Chicago’s trade for Denver’s young quarterback as the solution to decade’s worth of quarterback problems. And while the Bears Nation quickly placed its collective face in the lap of the rather unaccomplished 26-year-old, my first reaction was the same it is always is: skepticism in the face of a seemingly unfounded popular belief. And after some analysis I feel fairly confident in proclaiming that Cutler will be the next Bears bust. So when Reality wraps its callous, cold-blooded fingers around the throat of this hype and everyone is stunned you can’t say that I didn’t warn you.

“But he went to the Pro Bowl last year!”

That’s the first argument that blind loyalists of Cutler will throw out there so we will address that issue first. Yes, Cutler made the Pro Bowl. However, so did even though he allowed the most sacks of any left tackle in the league. I’ll also point to Culpepper and Vick here, as their Pro Bowl selections did nothing to prevent their collapse.

But beyond that, there is no way that Cutler should have been in Hawaii. And the idea that he is headed for a career where he is a perennial Pro Bowler, one of the top handful of quarterbacks in the league, and a true “franchise quarterback” is, to me, laughable.

Below are the 2008 statistics for five quarterbacks. Only one of them made the Pro Bowl, and that was Cutler. See if you can tell which line is his:

17 TDs, 15, INTs, 59.9 percent, 3,301 yards, 80.1 rating
21 TDs, 11 INTs, 63.4 percent, 3,693 yards, 89.4 rating
34 TDs, 11 INTs, 65.3 percent, 4,009 yards, 105.5 rating
25 TDs, 18 INTs, 62.3 percent, 4,526 yards, 86.0 rating
19 TDs, 7 INTs, 67.4 percent, 3,653 yards, 97.4 rating

So, which was the Pro Bowler? Here are the actual quarterbacks with their statistics:

- 17 TDs, 15, INTs, 59.9 percent, 3,301 yards, 80.1 rating
- 21 TDs, 11 INTs, 63.4 percent, 3,693 yards, 89.4 rating
- 34 TDs, 11 INTs, 65.3 percent, 4,009 yards, 105.5 rating
Jay Cutler - 25 TDs, 18 INTs, 62.3 percent, 4,526 yards, 86.0 rating
– 19 TDs, 7 INTs, 67.4 percent, 3,653 yards, 97.4 rating

It’s pretty obvious to me that Rivers, Cassel and Pennington each had better statistical seasons than Cutler. Also – more importantly – all four quarterbacks guided their teams to better records. And that’s why I included Big Ben’s numbers; if there is anyone out there that would suggest taking Cutler over Big Ben I will tell you that person knows as much about football as I do about the types of plant life on the sea floor of the Indian Ocean. Big Ben has two rings. Pennington finished second in the MVP voting and took a 1-15 team from 2007 and turned them into a division winner. Rivers posted a rating nearly 20 points higher. Yet, somehow, Cutler got the nod for the Pro Bowl.

But it doesn’t stop there. Last year Cutler played nine games against teams with defenses ranked No. 23 or worse and 12 of his games were against defenses in the lower half of the league rankings. Nine of his games were against pass defenses ranked No. 21 or worse. He played two Top 10 defenses – Tampa Bay and New England – and in those games he went 1-1 with an average of about 200 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. His last six games of the season produced just six TDs and seven INTs. Oh, and his teams’ record was 2-4 to close the year. (And let’s not forget that 49.8 QB rating in a 21-point loss AT HOME to Oakland in December.) Not exactly the stuff legends are made of.

Cutler falls into a similar situation to why I knew that Culpepper wasn’t anywhere near as good as his numbers suggested. Both Cutler and Culpepper were blessed with exceptional skill players and a system that virtually guaranteed him putting up numbers. With weapons like , , Brandon Stokely and , along with a sturdy offensive line, the were going to score points and move the ball almost regardless of who was under center. It just happened to be Cutler. And while he did have a very good season, statistically, that doesn’t mean that he is destined to be a good quarterback.

One of the key components of what makes a great quarterback is decision-making and judgment in situations that would make lesser men crumble like the Mayor of Gomorrah. Yet, time and time again Cutler has shown that he lacks those decision-making capabilities. Through the first 37 games of his career Cutler has already committed a whopping 61 turnovers (37 interceptions, 24 fumbles) compared to just 57 touchdowns while posting a record of 17-20. By comparison, in 36 games in his career has committed 54 turnovers (35 interceptions, 19 fumbles). When you are even more of a turnover dispenser than The Sex Cannon you are in serious trouble.

My contention is that Cutler is a poor man’s . Think young, drunk, reckless Kerry Collins. Think Carolina and New York Giant Kerry Collins. Think about the turnover-prone mess with a cannon arm and big-play potential. That’s Jay Cutler. Nothing more, nothing less. And that’s OK. Collins lost a lot of games but the guy also went to a and played in another NFC Title Game. Not a bad resume. But the idea that Cutler is a franchise quarterback is, to me, a total farce. Cutler is closer to the Culpepper-Jake Delhomme-Collins mold than he is to any elite signal caller. And I think that’s his ceiling.

Further, Cutler’s judgment is just in question in regards to turnovers. There has been a longstanding knock on him from NFL insiders that Cutler has a problem reading defenses and adjusting to new material. And then there is the myriad of incidents in his career that make me think that he’s a whiny little bitch. There was his decree that he has a stronger arm than John Elway. There was his getting dominated by San Diego and trash-talking Philip Rivers. There was his crying and whining after new Denver coach Josh McDaniels expressed interest in bringing his former quarterback, Matt Cassel, to the Broncos with him. (The exchange that led to Cutler’s ouster.) There were rumors that Cutler had actually demanded a trade before that whole incident anyway. Also, he made a point to take a shot at Denver fans once he made it to Chicago. And after a terrible, terrible interception in his first preseason game with the Bears (5-for-10, 64 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 30.8 rating) Cutler chose to take a shot at his receiver for not making a play on the horribly underthrown ball. This came after telling the media that he wants to have input on Chicago’s personnel decisions concerning the wide receivers.

Now, any one of these incidents you might be able to push aside. However, when you step back and look at them as a whole it paints an unflattering picture of a guy that’s supposed to be a “franchise quarterback”. Instead, it reminds me of all of the negative issues with Vick (Ron Mexico, flipping off fans, flipping out on local media, getting busted with pot in an airport) that were major red flags before the ultimate bomb dropped. Now, I don’t expect to hear that Cutler is maiming small children or animals. But the bottom line is that someone’s character always finds a way out in the things that they do.

In summation, I believe that Jay Cutler is terribly overrated and that he isn’t nearly going to be the savior that Chicago Bears fans desperately want him to be. He is careless with the football. He is not great at reading coverage and tries to rely on his arm strength to bail him out of trouble. Chicago grossly, grossly overpaid to bring Cutler to the Windy City and in the end he is not going to be the difference maker that folks believe he will be.

I will be there to collect the cash betting against him the whole way.

Think this kind of says it all!

Since: Aug 24, 2008
Posted on: April 15, 2009 8:02 pm

Broncos & Bears Trade Outcome

As I looked into the history of both players, they do have some attributes in common.  They have both played in relatively the same number of games.  The edge goes to Cutler and I’ll note that he started all 16 games in both the 2007 and 2008 season.  Orton played 15 games in 2007 and 2008.  So, with relatively the same number of games played a comparison shouldn’t be too biased.  If you have read many of my posts you will notice that I use a lot of stats.  The first thing I’ll concede is that numbers can be spun to make a case for just about everything.  In this case I’m going to spin them to make my points, and you can agree or disagree.

Quarterback Rating (Reference 1).  This is also known as the Passer Rating system and is calculated as follows:  Passer Rating = [(C+Y+T+I)/6] X 100, where C= completion percentage, Y= yards per attempt, T= TDs per attempt, and I= interceptions per attempt.  I absolutely hate this statistic, but the edge goes to Cutler 87.1 to Orton’s 71.1.  As a point of reference the average Passer rating for 1984 was 83.5.  Steve Young holds the record with Quarterbacks having at least 1,500 attempts at 96.8.  So Cutler was better than average while Orton was below the average.  In the Broncos 8 wins Cutler had a rating of 105 and 68.6 in the losses.  Orton and the Bears in their 9 wins complied a rating of 82.6 against 75.7 rating in the 6 losses.  I contend that while Cutler’s number is higher this is a function of how long you have to throw the ball, and the quality of receivers you have to catch the ball.  In addition, if the team is behind they will likely abandon the running game for the passing game to catch up.  The Broncos were behind in several games and had a Defense that allowed more points than most any teams in the league.  Given a decent offensive line, the Broncos had a stable of excellent receivers to get down field and catch the football.  Also, given the fact that as the season progressed, injuries to the running backs required Cutler to throw for the TD rather than rush for the TD on the goal line.  So, was Cutler’s rating skewed or can Orton do the same thing with the Broncos offense?  While Orton may not have the rocket arm he will have the same receivers and offensive line behind him not to mention a number of running backs to help with the goal line carries.  Recognizing this information, I contend Orton will not force the ball down the field and will play within his capabilities.  I believe in this McDaniel’s offense he will perform better than his numbers suggest.  I don’t think the same is true for Cutler.  His line and receivers are not as good and he will not achieve the same rating he enjoyed in Denver.  As a side note, Cutler attempted five more passes per game than did Orton, which equates to approximately 600 yards more passing in 2008. In 2008, Cutler had an averaged QB rating of 90.4 on his first 20 attempts but was 80.3 for the remainder of the game.  Orton was nearly identical, but his rating for attempts after 20 was 73. 

Win/Losses.  I’ve read several articles and threads on this board that discuss this issue.  This is a team game and the quarterback isn’t the only reason a team wins or loses in a given week.  Granted the quarterback usually get the credit because of their actions.  Fans certainly remember the pass for a TD, but are soon to forget about the pick six that went the other way to lose the game.  Defense and special teams also play a part in the W/L.  If the Defense or Special Teams can’t get it done then it’s not relevant if the Offense scores 3 or 30 points.  I would be more impressed with the Quarterback to know his fourth quarter come from behind stats to win the game.  I think that shows leadership, determination, and mental toughness.

Bottom Line:  These two quarterbacks are closer than they look statically.  If Orton performs well, the Broncos may not need to use one of their 2010 draft pick on a QB.  If the Broncos shore up the Defense in the draft has a full complement of healthy running backs, then Orton will likely not be asked to pass for 4,500 yards like Cutler did in 2008.  Given the Broncos difficult schedule for 2009, an 8-8 season may be the top end of what could be expected.  Not bad considering all the changes being implemented this year.  One thing about playing some of the top teams in the league is the Broncos will be evaluate talent and where to improve.  The other teams in the division don’t have a cake walk this year either, so the key to doing well is coming out on top in the Divisional games.

Reference 1. 

Reference 2.  and



Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2009 12:36 pm

Broncos & Bears Trade Outcome

Orton is a good QB.   He's every bit as expereinced and talented at Cassel, and probably tougher and more likeable.  He is better or at least as good as , Byron Leftwich, , , , , , etc etc.

I think's its only in the wake of a solid pass-happy offense stat sheet from that would seem lacking in what he offers the as they turn a corner, and rebuild this team, defense side first ... consdiering of source the draft picks given to Denver.  You never know what these picks can give you ... think back to Herschel Walker trade, he built Dallas with Emmitt Smith, Troy Aiken, Michael Irvin, all being drafted in the few years afterwards.

And remeber, next year promises a bumper crop of QBs, and Denver Broncos have two first rounders in 2010 to get who they like, maybe Tebow, from that group if Kyle Orton and pan out in 2009.   But, they will get their chance ... Josh won't admit just a couple of weeks after a trade that he "really" doesn't like Orton or Simms after signing them to contracts ... get real.  He's takign control, and he's going to get the Defence better and make a player out of Orton (like Cassel).  He's got the receiving tools to do it.

Hey, I also like the "stable" of Broncos in the backfield.  These guys will produce behind Orton, so I see a balanced offense in the locker room right now.  Ryan Torain, Lamont Jordan, these guys can provide a lot of power running, and Buckhalter, Arrington change the pace.  Tehy aren't HoFamers but they can play.

Since: Aug 24, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2009 8:47 pm

Broncos & Bears Trade Outcome

 I agree with that Cotton-22.  We need to shore up the Defense this year and evaluate what we need after next year.  If we do go for a QB next year we should give him time to adjust.  I did not agree with what the Bronco did with Cutler and Plummer.  I think we passed up a chance to make the playoffs that year.  I would like to see Orton do well enough that we don't need to go after a QB, but next years class of QBs looks pretty good and it may be to hard to pass one up.  In a few years we all may be looking back and saying wow, the Broncos picked up an all star cast of player for Cutler.

I've got some more points on Cutler and Orton that I'll post Tuesday night.   


Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2009 7:58 pm

Broncos & Bears Trade Outcome

Thinking long term with this the Jay Cutler and Kyle Orton trade is the way to go.  Denver needs to upgrade the D this year and trade up for Sam Bradford next year.  Stick with Orton this year and next let Bradford work his way into a starter, don't throw him in as quick as Denver did with Cutler.  Cutler could have learned a lot from Jake Plummer.  Denver would have also had another playoff season if they would have stuck with Plummer in 2006. 

Draft D and trade up for Bradford is the way to go. 


Since: Aug 24, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2009 6:32 pm

Broncos & Bears Trade Outcome


I think Jay Cutler will do just fine for the Bears and I wouldn't worrie about his maturity level.  The Broncos organization has had a lot of changes this off season, so if Jay had concerns it was best that he move on.  I've been think all long this process that his initial actions were just to get a new contract.  The Broncos front loaded his contract and he wasn't making the big buck in 2009 and 2010.   But as it worked out I think you do have a top QB for a long time.  Overall, this deal really worked out well for both teams.

Not everyone has to be a number one draft pick to be sucessful.  We had undrafted WR around Dever for a while that did pretty good, Rod Smith.  We will see how good your coaching staff is in evaluating the existing reciever talent this year.  If you can find a diamond if the rough you could have some real sucess.  I think you are right, giving up that many picks is going to make it harder for the Bears to find a talented WR. 



Since: Apr 12, 2009
Posted on: April 12, 2009 6:48 pm

Broncos & Bears Trade Outcome

I believe that Denver got the better end of the deal. 

Getting 2 #1's, a 3rd and Orton is great considering that everybody knew that Cutler would not play for them again.  Orton played very well last year and should fit into McDaniel's system well.  He put up very good numbers while playing in a similar system at Purdue, and now gets to play with a better receiving corp.  If Orton is not the answer, the Broncos will have two #1's next year, when the QB class is expected to be much better.  The extra picks this year will help fill the many defensive holes the team has.

I agree that the Bears are better on offense, but Cutler is probably not the final missing piece.  They lack a legimate number 1 WR and the line is adequate at best.  Cutler's numbers will be likely decline this year because he will be playing in a new system and his teammates are not as talented.  QB play wasn't why they ultimately missed the playoffs last year.  Their problem was that the defense could not stop anyone.  Trading away 2 first rounders will make it hard to add more playmakers to that side of the ball.  

Finally, while Cutler is clearly very talented, but I have questions about his maturity level.  Refusing to play for a team because they fired the assistant coach you liked and then explored the possibility of trading of you is ridiculous.  He is a top 10 QB, but has yet to even reach the playoffs. 


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