Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
Our special edition "sound off" was a rousing success. This subject is a talker, folks.
The question was, who did better in the Jay Cutler blockbuster trade, Denver or Chicago?
I received several responses. The feeling was split. Many people thought Denver --- which received two first-round picks, a third-rounder and quarterback Kyle Orton in the deal -- won the trade. Others though Chicago, which received Cutler and a fifth-round pick, won the deal.
Of course, only time will tell. It sure is fun breaking it down. Here are some of your responses:
Aaron from F. Collins: Slight win goes to Denver. They beefed up their draft picks (5 within the Top 84) BUT they do have to get the talent to make this a win in their case. Orton will be fine with the system being put in place, and he wont be touched with the Broncos stellar line. On the other hand, Chicago got their QB but what can he do with no WR's and a shaky Oline?
Kat from Dallas, TX: It's obvious Denver wins in this trade. Not only do they get a QB starter, but 2 first round and a 3rd round. Kyle Orton may be a downgrade from Jay Cutler, but remember that Orten did not have the supporting cast in Chicago that he will have in Denver. We'll see next year how good Jay Cutler actually is when he's playing on a team with no wide receivers or offensive line.
Tim from Girrard, OH: Bill...without question it is not even close...the Broncos scored huge in this trade. They now have relieved themselves of a huge locker room liability, garnered the draft picks they need to rebuild the horrible defense, and received a serviceable quarterback to maintain the offense while the defense catches up. Easy to see that McDaniels learned something from Belichick.
Matt from Salt Lake, UT: Bill, the winner may or may not be Chicago, but the loser is definately Denver. If the 2006 draft was done again knowing what we know now, Cutler would have been the first pick. Two first round picks can turn into great players, but it more than likely won't be as good as what they gave away. How valuable would the first overall pick in the draft be if the players were tossed into the league randomly for 3 years and then teams got to pick? twice as valuable? Three times? How can the two late teens to early twenties picks be worth that? I'm baffled, and it's not the first time I have been baffled this offseason by the Denver Broncos. I'm sad to say that I will no longer be rooting for the Broncos. I don't love Jay Cutler that much though. I haven't agreed with anthing they've done this year. Mike Shanahan shouldn't have been fired. McDaniels shouldn't have been hired, it should have been a defensive coach. Nobody in that front office should think that a Cutler for Cassel deal was in the best interest of the club. McDaniels shouldn't have been allowed to stand there and tell Cutler over and over that he could still be traded at any time when all he wanted was a little love from his team, so he could focus on football and not where he was going to end up now or in the future. And he most definitely shouldn't have been traded. Thanks for the blog, Bill. It has been nice. Hope you get reassigned this offseason to a division not run by blind, power-hungry, losers. GO BEARS!!
Robby from Pensacola: I think the Bears got the best of the trade for Cutler. Three draft picks, plus a player is quite a bit... but it isn't every season (or every decade, for that matter) that a legit franchise QB is available. The Broncos essentially get 3 rookies from the trade, and those don't always pan out.
DeWayne from Las Vegas: Its no question the Bears are giving a lot for Cutler but he is a proven commodity. As for Denver they have more picks to fix there biggest issue; D lineman troubles, but now they have potentially another problem, at QUARTERBACK!
Dustin from Huntington Beach, CA: Although I keep hearing how Denver got a ton in return for Cutler, I just don't see how one can think Denver won this trade. Two #1 picks are good and all but in reality both are going to be in the 2nd half of the 1st round, it is difficult to get impact players at those picks, and impact players is what Denver needs. Also, I don't know if it was actually on the table but it was rumored that Quinn and Rogers from Cle could have gone straight up for Cutler, I would have much rather taken that deal. Quinn is unproven but has WAY more upside than Orton, plus he knows the system, and the most important position in a 3-4 which Denver is switching to would have been filled with Rogers. They could have filled the most important position on O and on D with that trade. Bears get a 25 year old Pro Bowl QB who single handedly won the Broncos 8 games last year. Bears win.
Cory: I think da bears got a better deal. Denver may have got the picks but kyle isn't a starting quarterback in my mind, and who knows if the guys you get with the extra picks play out. Culter was THE franchise quarterback the Denver needed. It took them what 8 years between Elway and Cutler. I expect another 8 years, before Denver is a contender again. Which sucks cuz Denver is my team and i was hoping for a huge playoff run this year...now who knows when that will happen.
Zach from Maui: Both teams are winners here Bill. Each team got enough to move forward and be successful in the future. But if you had to give it to one team, its the Broncos. Two 1st round picks, 3rd round pick, and a QB that may actually pan out well under McDaniels and a good surrounding cast is a heck of a deal for denver.
Joe from Sacramento: This trade is a joke! I think both sides got won. Chicago got a franchise QB, and Denver got their picks and a QB, but as a Denver fan I am so infuriated with McDaniels it's not even funny. When he brought in free agents like Brian Dawkins and Andra Davis he promised them that we were going to win now and not rebuilding and trading Cutler is bringing this franchise a couple years back and now we may trade both first round picks to move up and get Mark Sanchez when we need those picks to draft defensive players? Bowlen fired Shanahan because he said he had too much power, well looks like McDaniels has even more power! What a joke!
Brad from KC: Denver clearly got the better deal. They got two 1st and a 3rd rounder plus a QB and only gave up a guy who acts like a total tool. Apparently the Bears believe they are a Pro Bowl QB away from a championship to give up so much.
Lon from Lowa: As a long-time Bronco Fan, I can tell you this was a great move for Da Bears. Congrats to Chicago for winning Super Bowl XLIV! (Oh yeah, I'm steaming mad that Bowlen fired Shanahan and hired the Boy Wonder.)
Chicago: Hi Bill. Love your blog man, great job. Here's a headline for your next blog/article: Shanahan Cutler reunion! After the Superbowl run, the Bears haven't done much. If they struggle this year and don't make the playoffs, Lovie Smith might be gone. Mike Shanahan will be available.... what do you think????
Chelsey from Walla Walla, WA: I don't think you can say Denver won anything in a trade. A few months ago we had Shanahan and Cutler. Now we have McDaniels and Orton. We've gone from rebuilding to...rebuilding even more.
David from San Diego: Sound Off response - Ad
mittedly, I was disappointed when I heard of the Cutler trade and my first thought was that Chicago got the better end of it. However, the more I think I about it this leaves Denver sitting pretty. McDaniels is a "systems" guy so it is reasonable to assume that he will be instituting his "system" in Denver. From all that I have heard of Orton, he has the tools to be successful in that type of environment. Yes, he doesn't have the play making ability of Cutler and may not be as fun to watch but he should be able to get the job done. Add to that 4 #1 picks over the next 2 years to fill in defensive holes or a QB if it is determined that Orton won't cut it, and Denver is looking pretty good in the long run. On the other hand, Chicago has some holes to fill on both sides of the ball. They don't have much of an offensive line nor do they have receivers for Cutler to throw the ball to. Aside from Forte, their offense is struggling. Cutler will help solve some of that, but he can't do it alone. Problem is, Chicago just gave up their picks for the next two years to solve those problems. Add to all this the negative intangibles that Cutler has displayed over the last month or so and Denver comes out looking like a winner.
Naples, Fl: As a longtime Bronco fan, I think that it was a good deal for both teams, but I think Cutler brings an immediate impact to Chicago, and carries them deep into the playoffs. Denver has the opportunity to develop some players out of the draft, though this season will be a wash. We had been waiting for 10 years for a franchise qb like Cutler, and when we look back 5 years from now, we will be regretting losing him big time.
Mac from Boise, Idaho: I'm totally split Bill. While I remember the days we didnt have anybody who could just sling the ball like Cutler did. We finally got him and three years later hes out. In retrospect, maybe he is the talent but just not "The Man". I met Ryan Clady at the begining of this offseason at a wedding ceremony in Boise States new Stueckle Sky Center and he told me about the arrogance that he exudes, that is not considered confidence by teammates and opponents, yet an annoying cockyness. I will miss those zip passes on third down to eddie sitting down in a pocket, and those balls that seem only jay can throw and only brandon can catch. I wont miss him sticking a knife in my heart throwing third quater picks when we're down by 17 and fourth quater picks to go to the playoffs. So Bill, how effective is this running game going be to get the pressure off Orton? THANK GOD we have a LEGIT O Line to keep him upright, and some receivers to get open? Also i think we stay away from any first round QB, if we can get Freeman in the second fine but not if it costs us ron brace. Do you use 12 and 18 on defense only?
Joey from Albuquerque: Bill, I love the blog. Keep up the good work. As far as the Jay Cutler trade goes, I think Denver got the better end of the deal. I know a lot of my fellow Broncos fans are upset about losing Cutler, but this situation reminds me of a similar situation last offseason. Parcells and Sparano went into Miami with the philosophy that no player is bigger than the team and that they were going to create a balanced unit, even if it meant ruffling some feathers. This included trading away their best player, Jason Taylor. Many Dolphins fans were upset about that move, but it turned out pretty well for them. I see this move as a similar attempt by the new regime to take control of a listless locker room and send the message that everyone will have to prove their worth. Plus, they now several high draft picks to improve the porous defense. Who knows, maybe this could turn out as well for Denver as it did for Miami last year.
Mathieu from San Francisco: This is the Bizarro Elway trade and look how well that worked out for the Colts, well an optimist will say that the years of terribleness lead to the arrival of Peyton. The Broncos did well to get what they got but they need to hope that this is more of a Herschel Walker trade than an Elway trade. McDaniels will either be viewed as a system genius or a talent idiot depending on how this plays out. Cutler, McDaniels, Xanders and Bowlen shoudl all be ashamed that this ever happened it shows a lack of intelligence, leadership and maturity by all involved.