I forget what I was doing at 5:34 p.m. yesterday. I know I had just finished lunch, so I was probably zoning out. I figure I was either reading random threads on the forum, changing my desktop background or downloading porn, but I'm not really sure.
I can, however, tell you what I was doing at 5:35 p.m. I was answering a call from Fred Cimino, a former writer of this Web site and a die-hard Bears fan. Fred is also one of the busiest people I know - he works 60 to 80 hours a week as a bank manager - so getting a call from him during business hours means one of two things: Either the world is coming to an end or the Bears just made a huge deal.
Once I saw Fred's name on my cell phone, I knew Chicago just traded for Jay Cutler. I just knew it. Call it a gift. That kid from the Sixth Sense can see dead people. Emmitt Smith can hold a job as a TV analyst for two years without being able to speak English. And I could tell that the Bears acquired Cutler based solely on the timing of Fred's call.
Sure enough, the first words out of Fred's mouth were, "The Bears got Cutler." And to that, I said, "Congratulations on winning the NFC North."
Along with the Orlando Pace signing, this Culter trade puts Chicago over the top. The Bears just acquired one of the top three young quarterbacks in the NFL. Kyle Orton wasn't terrible or anything, but Cutler can take the Bears' offense to a level that their oldest fans have never seen. And best of all, Cutler is only 25.
With that in mind, this story is more about Denver's ineptitude than Chicago's triumph. I don't care if the Broncos walk away with seven Hall-of-Famers from this draft class; I will still give them an F in my 2009 NFL Draft Grades. Trading away someone of Cutler's caliber is unforgivable. If Mark Sanchez doesn't pan out - I'm assuming Denver and Jacksonville will swap picks (more on this below) - this move will set this franchise back for years.
The sad thing is that this all could have been avoided. Owner Pat Bowlen should have immediately called Josh McDaniels into his office and smacked him upside the head once the new head coach entertained the idea of trading for Matt Cassel. And once this news broke out to the media, Bowlen should have fired McDaniels on the spot. Doing so would have mended his relationship with Cutler, and he would have never been forced into this predicament.
Instead, the Broncos dealt one of their few strengths, leaving them with a mediocre offense to pair with their putrid defense and brain-dead coach. Yes, they now have a torrent of draft picks - they obtained Chicago's 2009 and 2010 first-rounders and a 2009 third-round choice - but who's to say that any of those selections will pan out? After all, McDaniels preferred Cassel, a system quarterback with limited arm strength over Cutler, an exceptionally talented signal-caller with a rocket arm.
If I were a Denver fan, I'd be scared to death. McDaniels clearly can't read talent. He's only 32 years old. He has no head-coaching experience. The defense is the NFL's worst. Orton is injury-prone and inconsistent. Brandon Marshall is hurt. And Mike Shanahan is miles away, laughing hysterically at this entire situation.
Instead of worrying about claiming the AFC West, I'd be concerned with winning a single game. And I certainly wouldn't be calling my friends, boasting about how my NFL team just made a trade for the ages. Instead, I'd lock the door to my office or room, turn off my cell phone and go back to downloading porn with tears in my eyes.
The Jay Cutler Trade - 2009 NFL Draft Impact
Excluding Chicago, perhaps the biggest winners of the Jay Cutler trade were the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars barely spent any money this offseason, and who could blame them in this economy after epically failing with Drayton Florence and Jerry Porter last spring?
Jacksonville will be looking to trade out of the No. 8 spot. Owner Wayne Weaver doesn't want to pay top dollar to an unproven player, especially after going through the Derrick Harvey fiasco after the 2008 NFL Draft.
With Denver suddenly in need of a quarterback - Kyle Orton is entering his contract year - there is suddenly a market for the No. 8 overall selection; the Broncos will have to move ahead of the 49ers to land Mark Sanchez.
The difference between Picks 8 and 12 is 200 TVC points. The value of the selection No. 79, one of Denver's two third-round choices, is 195 points.
So, for a mere third-round pick, the Broncos can obtain their new franchise quarterback. Meanwhile, the Jaguars can still land Vontae Davis at No. 12, and they would be able to pay him less money. Plus, they'll get a third-rounder out of the swap. Not a bad deal for both teams.