A few months back, ESPN's Adam Schefter suggested that the Denver Broncos had bested the Chicago Bears in the Jay Cutler trade. But with the Bears one game from the Super Bowl, that position is growing more unpopular with each passing day.
Indeed, one expert believes the Cutler deal will set the Broncos back five years.
The headline on a new post by ESPN's Bill Williamson -- "Cutler deal was beginning of end for Denver" -- sets the tone for an article that contrasts the Bears' improvement with the Broncos' horrific deterioration. Typical is this quote from Gary Horton of Scout's Inc.:
"This is the type of move that can adversely affect a franchise for five years. There is no question. The Broncos are in much worse shape today than they were the day before they made this trade."
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Williamson goes on to detail who the Broncos acquired in the deal -- and while the jury is still out on some of the picks, Horton feels the verdict is likely to come down in the Bears' favor. In his words:
"The Broncos have to hope Tebow is a hit or this franchise will [be] set back for years. You look at Cutler, Brandon Marshall [traded to Miami], Peyton Hillis [traded to Cleveland], Mike Wallace and look at all the missed chances. This could be a very good team. But it's starting over all because of this [Cutler] trade."
I was rooting for the Green Bay Packers to club the Bears this weekend before I read Williamson's piece -- but now I'll be yelling just that much louder.