This is no QB Rick Mirer trade. Chicago just traded for QB Jay Cutler. This is a hell of a good move for Chicago. They are giving up something to get him; their 1st and 3rd round picks in 2009, their 1st round pick in 2010, and a servicable QB in Kyle Orton.
bizzle4 beat me to the story here. Given Chicago GM Jerry Angelo's questionable use of 1st round picks in recent years (RB Cedric Benson, LT Chris Williams, QB Rex Grossman, etc.), it's no given he was planning on drafting someone they could use. Our SB Nation mock draft had them getting Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin who would have helped little in 2009 as rookie receivers rarely make a big impact; it usually takes them a season to get used to the NFL.
Cutler is clearly a step (or several) ahead of Orton. Based on last season, according to Football Outsiders, he was a step ahead of QB Aaron Rodgers too. If football was a one-on-one sport, Cutler is clearly better than Rodgers and becomes the best QB in the NFC North. But right now, it's better to call them even and see how the two QBs do in the same division against similar opponents for a couple seasons.
Maybe my dismissal yesterday of Cutler trade rumors motivated Angelo (kidding...).
In a not unrelated move, Chicago also signed the great LT Orlando Pace. I'm not impressive with it because Pace hasn't been able to stay healthy since 2005. But he'll be great, if healthy.
The biggest difference in Chicago for Cutler is the lack of quality receivers. WR Brandon Marshall was a fantasy stud in Denver, but he had a lot of pass attempts thrown his way to pad his stats. FO only had him ranked 42nd, behind his teammate WR Eddie Royal at 32nd. Still, those guys were headed to the Hall compared to Chicago's returning crew, led by WR Devin Hester who was ranked 64th last season. But he'll make his receivers better.
They gave up something to get him, but this was a great trade for Chicago (and a bad one for the Packers). Still, I don't mind Chicago making a move like this and giving Rodgers the opportunity to show up Cutler twice a season.