Bucs wanted to move ahead of Broncos

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
TAMPA, Fla. -- In a strange way, the Bucs might have won the Jay Cutler war after all.

The Bucs weren't able to pull off a trade for Cutler (as part of a three-way deal) back in February. The Broncos weren't able to keep Cutler and finally had to trade him.

In the end, Denver has Kyle Orton as its quarterback. In the end, Tampa Bay has Josh Freeman, the quarterback the Bucs were convinced Denver would have taken. The Broncos were sitting at No. 18 and the Bucs at No. 19.

Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik told me the Bucs decided to swap into the 17th pick that was held by Cleveland to make sure they got Freeman. The cost was a sixth-round pick.

The cost of Cutler to the Bears and the Broncos was significant. In the end, the cost of jumping into the Cutler situation in the first place was nothing for the Bucs.