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  • Denver Broncos Jake Cutler looks to pass down field against...

    Mark Leffingwell

    Denver Broncos Jake Cutler looks to pass down field against the Oakland Raiders during their game in Denver, Colorado September 16, 2007. (CAMERA/Mark Leffingwell)

  • Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler, right, watches the scoreboard alongside...

    Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler, right, watches the scoreboard alongside teammate Ryan Clady, left, during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday Dec. 28, 2008 in San Diego. San Diego won the game 52-21.



ENGLEWOOD — Jay Cutler got his wish Thursday: a ticket out of Denver. And the Chicago Bears have a franchise quarterback for the first time in decades.

The Broncos on Thursday traded their disgruntled Pro Bowl passer to the Bears, who’ve gone through a bevy of quarterbacks without much success ever since Jim McMahon was calling plays in the 1980s.

The Broncos get quarterback Kyle Orton in return, along with two first-round draft picks and a third-rounder.

The Broncos get the Bears’ top pick in this year’s draft, which is No. 18 overall, and Chicago’s first-round draft pick in 2010, along with a third-round selection this year (No. 84 overall). Denver also gave up a fifth-rounder this year.

Calls to Cutler’s agent, Bus Cook, went unanswered. His office in Hattiesberg, Miss., was closed because of bad weather and his home phone had a message asking callers to call back later. An e-mail sent by The Associated Press wasn’t returned.

The Broncos said coach Josh McDaniels would have a press conference at 11 a.m. today.

Cutler asked for a trade last month after his relationship with McDaniels soured when the new 32-year-old coach talked to other teams about trading him. Cutler and his agent didn’t think McDaniels was upfront with them about the trade talks.

Two meetings designed to clear the air only raised Cutler’s level of distrust. Still, McDaniels insisted over and over that Cutler was his guy and he said at last week’s NFL owners meetings that hewould do everything he could to repair their relationship.

When the rocket-armed but thin-skinned passer didn’t return the Broncos’ phone calls, however, team owner Pat Bowlen said enough was enough. On Tuesday night, he announced he had given his new brain trust of McDaniels and general manager Brian Xanders the go-ahead to seek a trade for the quarterback who made the Pro Bowl in just his second season as a starter.

Yet, Cutler expressed surprise and remorse Wednesday night when speaking to a reporter from

“I was surprised they decided to trade me this soon,” Cutler said. “I didn’t want to get traded. This wasn’t me. They (the Broncos) had been going back and forth saying things, wanting me to be their quarterback, and then they didn’t. I really didn’t want this. I love Denver. I really like my teammates. I didn’t want it to get this far.”

Now, the Bears have a top quarterback, albeit one with baggage.

“I don’t have any concerns,” Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said. “(Coach Lovie Smith) and I talked about that. We did, like a lot of people who were interested in Jay, a lot of work going back to not just when he was with Denver (but) but going back to his days at Vanderbilt.”

Angelo said area scout Rex Hogan lives in the Nashville area and developed a “great rapport” with Cutler coming out of Vanderbilt in 2006.

“We felt that (Cutler) is a very good person, a good leader,” Angelo said. “He had some things that happened in Denver. We recognized those, but we treated them as just speed bumps, part of the growing process. He’s highly competitive, he’s highly emotional. That just comes with the territory.”

Although Cutler is 17-20 as a starter, he’s been victimized by dismal defenses in Denver, and he was an impressive 13-1 when the Broncos held opponents to 21 points or fewer.

Last year, Cutler threw for a franchise record 4,526 yards, 25 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. In his 37-game career in Denver, he completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 9,024 yards, 54 TDs and 37 interceptions.

Denver now has Orton, fellow newcomer Chris Simms and Darrell Hackney at quarterback.

Simms, who signed a two-year, $6 million free agent deal ostensibly to serve as Cutler’s backup, has thrown just two passes since undergoing emergency surgery to remove his spleen after a game in 2006. Hackney’s next NFL pass will be his first.

Orton threw for 2,972 yards while completing 272 of 465 passes and throwing more touchdowns (18) than interceptions (12) after beating out Rex Grossman for the starting job. But he wasn’t the same after being carted off the field with a sprained ankle against Detroit midway through the season.

Orton went from throwing a club record 205 passes without an interception to throwing eight in four games before a strong finish in the finale.

Cutler is halfway through the six-year, $48 million contract he signed as the 11th overall pick out of Vanderbilt in the 2006 draft. His salary cap number for next season is just over $1 million.

Although he probably won’t play in the game, the Bears visit the Broncos for an exhibition on Aug. 30.

Archived comments

Da. Bearssss.


4/2/2009 3:46:41 PM

Looks like I’m out of work.Or I’m moving to Chicago….no, it’s the first one.


4/2/2009 3:50:02 PM

Oh, Jay, try pouting in Chicago.


4/2/2009 3:56:17 PM

That town LOVES QBs lacking in experience.


4/2/2009 3:57:35 PM

Please no Rex Grossman, please no Rex Grossman, please no Rex Grossman…

4/2/2009 4:01:52 PM

Chicago will no longer be known as the “windy city”. … from now on call it the “whiney city” and the amount of tears Jay can drop will likely cause a big flood.

Chicago always keeps a “man’s man” football team. So, Jay is a bad fit, except maybe as a cheerleader.


4/2/2009 4:02:42 PM

We’ll see how QBs with diabetes fare in unbelievable humidity and unbelievable wind chill. We’ll also see how QBs with diabete fare in unbelievable humidity and unbelievable wind chill after they’ve been flattened four or five times and threw a couple of picks.


4/2/2009 4:06:13 PM

Well I guess the Superbowl is out of the question… Nice going McDaniels


4/2/2009 4:12:37 PM

“Nice going McDaniels”amen to that!

Are the Bears on the Donks schedule next year?


4/2/2009 4:19:26 PM

Great news!We are getting Michael Vick!Sorry Boulder dog lovers, it is true.


4/2/2009 4:26:39 PM

Nice deal for the Bronco’s.Orton’s got a great work ethic and seems to have a good head on his shoulders.Toss in a couple of draft picks.Bowlen & crew have to be happy about this one.Kiss one WHINER goodbye.


4/2/2009 4:31:43 PM

I understand that Cutler was crying, but what does it say about the head coach that can’t get a lunch with the franchise QB? This is not going to help us win games even if our new QB is a nicer guy. He was 25th ranked QB in the league.May as well quit on the upcoming season.


4/2/2009 4:42:27 PM

Anyone have some Orange Crush???


4/2/2009 4:43:05 PM

Maybe the coach didn’t handle the situation perfectly, but he was dead-on about not wanting to work with someone with Cutler’s mental makeup. Orton may or may not suit up in Bronco blue and orange; something tells me the fun is just beginning in the most bizarre off-season in the history of the NFL. . .


4/2/2009 4:46:25 PM

Shanahan will end up coaching Chicago in 2010-2011.


4/2/2009 4:48:34 PM

Ward Churchill has 82 comments, and we get 15 on losing the best Denver QB since John Elway?Unreal…


4/2/2009 5:24:45 PM

123456 – The Churchill case is a little more important than a whiney QB…


4/2/2009 5:28:33 PM

mcdaniels should go back to his sandbox. it’ll be years before denver sees another good qb. orton and simms?!


4/2/2009 5:37:47 PM

Good bye Cutler.

4/2/2009 5:49:22 PM

buh bye Jay. Take your 13 yr old spoiled teenager attitude with you. Have fun throwing to… thinking of a good CHI receiver… still thinking. Willie Gault???

4/2/2009 5:55:28 PM

The Donkey’s get Orton? Donkey fan suicide rate skyrockets by game 2.


4/2/2009 6:07:20 PM

Season tickets for Sale….

4/2/2009 6:19:21 PM

Kyle Orton?! Best porn ‘stache in the NFL.

Fun to see a Boilermaker on the home team, even if he’s not the best QB around.


4/2/2009 7:21:53 PM

You can order your Cutler Bears jersey now on the Bears official website.


4/2/2009 7:26:48 PM

If Cutler really has such a thin skin, just wait till the fans there get their hooks in him.


4/2/2009 7:29:09 PM

all you jilted slackjaw fans can make yourselves feel better by doing your own whining about Cutler. How many players in the NFL are not prima donnas? The bottom line here is Cutler is one of the best players in the league and even if Josh “deer in the headlights” McWhatever is Lombardi/Walsh/Shula/Brown all rolled into one he still wont be able to field a winning team until he finds another QB. Simms and Orton? Give me a break. Hackney is probably better.

Not only does he chase away the best player on the team, he starts out by doing a shanny and bringing in has been free agents for the defense.

Donky and Fader fans can now relate.


4/2/2009 7:50:25 PM

Jays kind of town?I doubt it.Bears fans aren’t going to be impressed with Cutlers social skills any more than we were.Good riddance.The Broncos got rid of an overblown contract and got some explosively good young talent to build on.There are two young monsters inRyan Harris and Ryan Clady on offensive line.Two of the best recievers in the game in Brandon and Eddie.The more I’ve been thinking about it,Brandon probably didn’t like Jay acting like his legal guardian anyway.Plus, we get Orton and the 18th overall pick from Chicago.I think this was a good trade for the Broncos.Now, how to we trade the new coach away?


4/2/2009 8:26:46 PM

Donkey fans drink urine for sure.

Same for CU Buffs.


4/2/2009 8:27:47 PM


I moved from Chicago to get away from their quarterbacks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No.Please tell me April Fool’s Day has been moved to the 2nd.


4/2/2009 9:34:55 PM

If only Boulder could also get red rid of 90% of it’s whining


4/2/2009 10:41:41 PM

“Although Cutler is 17-20 as a starter, he’s been victimized by dismal defenses in Denver, and he was an impressive 13-1 when the Broncos held opponents to 21 points or fewer.”


This statement has been in every article on Cutler long enough to make me sick.

Last year, of the 256 regular season games 195 were won by teams that held the opponent to 21 points or less.

76% of the games.A 12 and 4 season on average by holding the opposition to 21 points or less.

Cutler only scored over 21 points eight times last season and seven times the previous season.

The Broncos weren’t able to get it done on both sides of the line.

Best of luck in the Windy City, the Frozen Tundra, and The Metrodome.At least there is Ford Field.

4/2/2009 11:29:31 PM

Too bad they didnt send hin to Green Bay,Then he could have had some Whine and Cheese!Good riddance, you were just above average-mediocre ona good.Elway had crappy teams and never pisssed and moaned, and yes Jay, he managed to win.Will be nice to see Chicago chew you up!See how long your attitude lasts there!

4/3/2009 7:52:17 AM

Broncos get a ‘system’ guy with a great work ethic, and respect from his team in Kyle Orton.They will also have no less than 4 number one draft picks in the next 2 years to shore up the defense.

This is a great deal for Denver.

Cutler will certainly have his work cut out for him without Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, et al.Chicago has alot of holes to fill.

Not only that, Bears fans probably won’t coddle him the way most Bronco fans did.

Jay had better grow a skin…and fast.


4/3/2009 8:05:25 AM

why is the ward chruchill case impoortant?

that dude is a…


4/3/2009 8:26:48 AM

Finally there’s a place for Bradlee Van Pelt. We can go all the way with Bradlee. I’m so sick of sissy quarterbacks in Denver. Let’s get someone with balls…win or lose, let’s have a season to remember!


4/3/2009 8:31:06 AM

Even if Cutler is a whiney little baby you can’t deny he has a rediculous arm. Orton didn’t even get recruited to any colleges in his home state of Iowa..that should tell you something


4/3/2009 8:45:09 AM

Trading Cutler might be only the beginning. With a 1st round pick, that brings teams QB needs into sharper focus.

Now that JC has found out what a moron he is, his drama isn’t over. He still has to choose to honor the contract to the Bears. And the Bears have to prove to JC they’re serious about building an offense around his skills, or else JC will be buh-bye in 3 years.

Interestingly enough, the Bears’ OC is the same coach who offered and then rescinded JC a scholarship. JC thought he was going to go to Illinois, but wound up at Vandy instead. I’ll be curious to see if JC can grow up in the midst of a running game and scale back his ambitions in order to become effective, efficient and winning.

Meanwhile, back at the Rancho El Bronco: Orton is a passer. The Bears don’t pass, so how do they know what Orton can really do? The Bears don’t have receivers. Enjoy it JC. Orton is only too excited to be out of Chicago.

Time for McDaniels to work his QB magic – something JC didn’t want.

If Bronco fans start offing themselves, good riddance of fair weather fans who put their happiness in the hands of others – just so JC of them.


4/3/2009 9:09:02 AM

Jeff George for a new generation!!!!!

4/3/2009 9:43:07 AM

Maybe Jay will rent Barack Obama’s home in the Chicago area?

Then Cutler can accuse any football coach/fan that criticizes him of being a racist … in that kinda little whiney voice. sigh.


4/3/2009 9:43:48 AM

It’s a great trade for the Broncos,Get rid of a bad seed and get two first rounders, a third rounder and a quarterback who’s intellegent enough to work in the new system. Look what our new coach was able to do with a journeyman last season. And Orton has a pretty good arm to boot. Orton helped take the Bears to a Superbowl and had a pretty good season last year until he was injured.

Broncs need a defense and a running back more than a prima donna cry baby.

The coach hasn’t even gotten one snap under his belt and some fair weather fans are already crying.Move to Chicago and see how the self annointed Golden Armed One does with no receivers.


4/3/2009 9:49:43 AM

TPLboulder:Remember when Jeff George came to Boulder with Illinois around 1990? The Buffs trounced them, Jeff had an absolutly horrible game, was sacked and hurried all day long, and was heckled unmercifully.It was a great game to be at, what fun.

I’d love to see a Denver defense to the same think to Cutt(and run)ler in an important game sometime in the next few years.


4/3/2009 9:58:46 AM

You guys are right.I gotta let the whole first month of the McDanials era go.He obviously had no intentions of moving forward with Cutler.I can respect that,Cutler was an awful face forthe franchise to rally around.Its a new era now.Lets see if Orton can get the fellas the ball.Two things are for sure, He is going to have time, and the recievers will be open.


4/3/2009 10:30:55 AM

First mistake: getting rid of a proven coach. Second mistake: getting rid of a proven quarterback.

4/3/2009 11:33:47 AM

This is a great deal for the Broncos.We get the Defense back on track with extra draft picks and get them experience in 2009-2010.Now all we need is a running back AKA Terrell Davis and the Superbowl equation is there fro 2010-2011.Kyle Orton is every bit the quarterback that John Elway was.He just needs a strong D and a good running back like Elway had.


4/3/2009 11:52:55 AM

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