The 2009 trade that sent Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears and Kyle Orton to the Denver Broncos -- which took place six years ago today -- was considered a big one at the time, having set up the Broncos with a pair of extra first-round picks and the Bears with a quarterback in whom they eventually invested a mammoth long-term contract. But the deal also created a ripple effect, through subsequent trades and acquisitions, that was felt all over the league in the form of some of the NFL's most famous players -- and one who became infamous.
A look at how this trade reverberated:
1. Broncos turn pick into two WRs, Tebow
This is where things get crazy. Denver moved down to the No. 13 pick in the trade with San Francisco, then moved down again to No. 24 in a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. When Thomas was available at No. 22, Denver packaged No. 24 and the No. 113 pick it had gotten from San Francisco to draft him, acquiring a legitimate star who has roughly averaged 100 catches, 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns over the last three seasons. As well, Denver got two third-round picks in the trade with Philadelphia. One was used on Eric Decker. The other was packaged with some other picks to allow Denver to draft Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow, who flashed with one remarkable playoff season before being jettisoned a year later.
2. Aaron Hernandez to Pats
3. Trades allow Cowboys to land Bryant
4. Pats draft star safety
5. Steelers end up with deep-threat WR
The Broncos also got a 2009 third-round pick in the trade that was traded to the Steelers, who used it to pick wide receiver Mike Wallace No. 84 overall. Wallace became an explosive downfield threat in Pittsburgh and, now with the Minnesota Vikings, is approaching 6,000 career yards and 50 career touchdowns.
6. Broncos' No. 18 pick fails to pan out
With all that star power flowing from one deal, oddly enough, the most prized pick Denver got from Chicago for Cutler didn't impact the league as much as any of them. Denver also got the No. 18 pick of the 2009 draft, which resulted in defensive end Robert Ayers. Ayers has been a backup player since 2012 and is now with the New York Giants.