Where is Orton's extension?

We all know that Kyle Orton and Jay Cutler will be forever linked when it comes to the Bears and the Broncos.

Last spring, it was the Bears who got the better half of the deal. Yes, they had to give up draft picks, but they were receiving a franchise quarterback in Cutler while the Broncos, well, they were just getting a guy who was a fallback plan after Josh McDaniels couldn’t find a way to bring Matt Cassel to the Mile High city.

But, we were dead wrong to judge that deal back then.

I completely agree with the Bears’ decision to give Cutler an extension that our own Brad Biggs first reported here at the NFP late last night. He has all the tools that you look for in a franchise quarterback, and with the serious issues they are having up front with the running game, he is the only outlet for this club to produce points. You lock up players like that in this league.

Does he take too many risks? Of course he does, but there is a quarterback up north in Brett Favre who has made a living doing that and is doing it better than both Cutler and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers this season in the NFC North.

However, if Cutler deserves the deal, then where is Orton’s “new money?” Because that guy is playing better than any quarterback in his own division. He is protecting the football, he is making big time throws—like the TD pass to Tony Scheffler on Monday night—and he is doing what might be the best thing for the Broncos: keeping Brandon Marshall happy.

Orton is leading an offense that is currently 6-0, and although they are the surprise of the 2009 season, they aren’t going away. They are as good as their record tells us.

Sure, he is a product of Josh McDaniels’ system, right? Well, so was Matt Cassel, and so was Tom Brady to some extent. You see, there are no “system” quarterbacks in the NFL. This league isn’t the Big 12 or the University of Florida. Denver doesn’t run the spread. Nor does New England, or Indy or New Orleans.

McDaniels' system, just like Sean Payton’s down south, is a pro offense that needs an efficient pro quarterback to run it. And that is what Orton has turned out to be. No, he is not like Cutler in the fact that he can’t drop back and throw it 65 yards on the fifth step of his drop, but there are only about five QBs in the league who can do that. Orton can produce points, and he can make every throw that McDaniels calls from the sidelines.

And, after this hot start, I doubt McDaniels is going anywhere for a while in Denver. And neither should Orton.

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady seem to be the next quarterbacks in line to break the bank with a massive contract, but Orton should get some cash, too. He has proven that with his play thus far, and the Broncos have proven that they made out pretty well on that trade, as well.

Time for Denver to start planning to pay up.

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