COMMENTARY | The Washington Redskins will take on Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears in a Week 7 NFC matchup. As the Redskins prepare to face Cutler, what immediately comes to mind is the memory of how close the team was to acquiring the former Denver Broncos signal caller during the offseason of 2009.
What if the Redskins had acquired Cutler via trade instead of the Bears? Let's take a look at how recent football history in the city of Washington D.C. would have changed if the deal for Cutler had been made.
How the 2009 and 2010 drafts would have been impacted
In reality, the Bears relinquished quarterback Kyle Orton, their first round draft selections in 2009 and 2010 plus a third rounder in 2009 to the Broncos in exchange for Cutler and a fifth round draft choice.
Hypothetically, we'll use the parameters of the Bears' trade for this exercise, except instead of Orton, the Broncos would have received former Redskins' quarterback Jason Campbell, who was rumored to be included in a potential Cutler deal.
Let's start with the two first round draft picks the Redskins would have given to Denver in exchange for Cutler. The Redskins selected defensive end Brian Orakpo and left tackle Trent Williams in the first rounds of 2009 and 2010, respectively.
While the Redskins would have attained a quality young quarterback in Cutler, they would have sacrificed the opportunity to select two players who currently serve as vital performers on both sides of the trenches.
Williams was the Redskins choice to replace the presence of former left tackle Chris Samuels, who was forced into early retirement due to injury. So if the Redskins had successfully dealt for Cutler, he would have been running for his life without Williams protecting his blindside.
The 2009 third rounder that the Redskins would have given up was used to select defensive back Kevin Barnes, who didn't pan out in Washington. The fifth rounder that the Redskins would have received from Denver wasn't a bad pick, as Chicago selected wide receiver Johnny Knox, who showed flashes of potential before his career ended abruptly due to injury.
So the final tote board shows the Redskins receiving Cutler and Knox in exchange for Orakpo, Williams and Barnes in this hypothetical trade scenario.
The Robert Griffin III trade
If Jay Cutler had arrived in Washington, the RGIII trade probably wouldn't have taken place. With a franchise-caliber signal caller already in the fold, there would have been no need to give up a king's ransom to acquire Griffin.
Speaking of that king's ransom, here's a quick review of what the Redskins gave up to the Rams in exchange for the chance to select RGIII: Their 2012 first and second round selections plus their first round picks in 2013 and 2014.
With Cutler aboard, the Redskins could have used those picks to shore up other areas of need on the football team. Talented defensive players such as Luke Kuechly, Mark Barron and Dontari Poe would have been available with the Redskins' original sixth overall selection in 2012.
In 2013, a wide receiver with the potential to blossom into a playmaker such as DeAndre Hopkins or Cordarrelle Patterson could have been selected with the late first round draft pick the Redskins would have kept, and in 2014 the team would still have a first rounder available to use.
The Donovan McNabb trade
Cutler's arrival would have also prevented the Redskins' forgettable decision to acquire quarterback Donovan McNabb in 2010. By not trading for McNabb, the Redskins would have kept the two draft choices they surrendered for the signal caller whose time in Washington was disappointing to say the least.
Would Cutler have succeeded in Washington?
If Cutler had reunited with head coach Mike Shanahan in Washington, we'll never know what the outcome would have been for the Redskins.
What we do know is that if Cutler had been acquired, the Redskins would have had several additional draft picks available to build a successful team around him, which instead were utilized to occupy the hole at the quarterback position that Cutler's arrival would've filled.
So when the Redskins take on the Bears in their Week 7 battle, every time Jay Cutler drops back to pass, it's only natural to wonder what could've been if he had been traded to the Redskins four years ago.
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Draft results via DRAFTHISTORY.COM
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