Those fans of the Denver Broncos who believe that the additional draft picks along with former Bears QB Kyle Orton is enough to put them immediately back in contention are greatly mistaken in my humble opinion. Although most have said that the Chicago Bears gave up way too much for Jay Cutler, it is the Bears that definitely got the better of the deal by far, at least for now. Until the Denver draft picks pan out, we won't know the true value of the trade. However, we do know that as serviceable as Orton is, he is not Jay Cutler by any means.
There are only a handful of top franchise caliber QB's in the league and while Cutler may not be in the top five (P. Manning, Brady, Roethlisberger, Brees, Warner), he is most definitely in the top ten (Cutler, E. Manning, Rivers, Romo, McNabb). Denver's defense abandoned them when they needed it most, down the stretch in the 2008 season. They're hoping free agency and the draft will alleviate that issue a bit, but now know they won't be flinging the ball all over the place for 400+ yards and will not be outscoring opponents any time soon.
That puts the San Diego Chargers way out in front of the pack in the AFC West, and they should be as close to a lock as any team in the league to win their division title again in 2009. That certainly throws off the balance in the AFC, much less the entire league. All of a sudden, overnight, the Broncos got worse and the Bears greatly improved. Chicago should definitely be a frontrunner for the NFC North title and all the opponents of both the Broncos and Bears have different thoughts since the trade. That will alter the playoff possibilities and make it more than a chance that the Wild Card will not be coming from the AFC West, but certainly one can now come from the NFC North.
See what I mean? Wondering how this will affect our Ravens? Well, it will all start with the NFL Draft later this month. Read yesterday's post to see my opinion on what it will do to the receiving class of the draft. What about the rest of the draft? What are your comments on the altering state of the entire league due to one of the biggest rades in recent NFL history?