Like every other NFL team, the Denver Broncos have given up on players way too soon. Let’s cover the five most notable examples of this. Whether it was via trade, letting them leave in free agency or a roster cut, there are many players across the history of the NFL who were seemingly cast away by their first or current team only to breakout with another team.
It surely has to be a tough pill to swallow for the team that gave up on them. And it might be the ultimate middle finger for the player who found success with another club. The Broncos have been through quite a bit over the last six seasons, but even before that, there were some obvious mistakes the club made that ended up not working out for them.
Can we pinpoint five times in the team’s history when they gave up on a player too soon? I can think of two off the top of my head as I type these words. Let’s take a dive into five players the Broncos gave up on way too soon.
5 players the Denver Broncos gave up on way too soon
Jay Cutler, QB
In the 2009 NFL offseason, as the Broncos transitioned from Mike Shanahan to Josh McDaniels, the team shipped a promising young QB named Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears for Kyle Orton and a few draft picks.
That never really seemed to be the right decision for the team, as the Broncos did proceed to endure a few brutal years of QB play. Now, you could argue that it led them to sign Peyton Manning, which is a very fair argument, but trading away a young QB like Cutler who had just thrown for over 4,500 yards the season before was a weird decision.
Who knows, maybe Cutler would have developed into an above-average starter in the NFL. He did play another nine years in the NFL after being traded to the Bears, and during his career in Chicago and his lone year with the Miami Dolphins, Cutler threw for 26,109 yards and 173 touchdowns passes.
I think trading Cutler was a huge mistake by the Broncos.