The year was 2009, and then-Bears general manager Jerry Angelo was beaming after pulling the trigger on a trade that sent his starting quarterback (Kyle Orton) and three draft picks, including two first-rounders, to Denver to acquire a true franchise cornerstone.
Fast forward five years: Angelo is no longer with the team, fired in 2012 after a decadelong run as GM. Cutler remains entrenched and recently signed a new deal that could keep him in Chicago through the 2020 season.
Time seems to have changed Angelo's feelings on the quarterback. In a write-up on TheSidelineView.com, Angelo wrote candidly about perceived deficiencies in Cutler's game.
"Has all the physical tools, but inconsistent in the clutch," Angelo wrote. "Mostly due to a lack of poise. He's not comfortable reading defenses and consequently locks onto a favorite or pre-determined target, that may or may not be the right choice. The less he's asked to see the better he is. A better half-field general, than a full-field one."
Angelo doesn't bury Cutler by any means. He ranks the QB right in the middle of the pack among 32 quarterbacks who played during the 2013 season. But it's more than a strong hint that the erstwhile GM had some buyer's remorse on Cutler. It also makes it hard to imagine Cutler would've gotten that new contract if Angelo were still running the show in Chicago.
Lastly, it's fair to take these rankings with a grain of salt. As colleague Chris Wesseling rightly pointed out, Angelo is the same guy who imported Craig Krenzel, Chad Hutchinson, Jonathan Quinn and Rex Grossman to the Windy City. Know thy source.