49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

April 2, 2009
The real story on Jay Cutler *updated*

**Update** 2:32 p.m. Looks like the Bears were one of those aggressive teams I referenced in my original post below. NFL.com is reporting that Chicago and Denver have agreed to the terms of a deal.

**Update 2:35 p.m.** Jay Glazer of foxsports.com reports that Cutler has been traded to the Chicago Bears for two first-round picks, a third-round pick and quarterback Kyle Orton. Denver will receive Chicago's first- and third-round pick in this year's draft, and Chicago's first-round pick in 2010, along with Orton. The Bears get Cutler and the Broncos' fifth-round pick this year. ... If this is correct, you have to ask yourself whether the 49ers should have given up a similar package, say, Shaun Hill, two first rounders and a third rounder for Cutler ...

Ok, I'll admit it. For approximately three seconds yesterday morning, the guys at 49ersWebzone had me duped. In my defense, this was early-morning, pre-coffee Barrows we're talking about. That guy ain't too bright. And the headline - Broncos have deal in place to send Cutler to San Francisco - sounded pretty genuine. A flash of panic coursed through me. I got scooped. Do my bosses know? Does Maiocco have the story?

Then I woke up. Wait, Alex Smith is part of the deal? That doesn't make sense. And since when does Denver have a new newspaper? Ah, I said to myself, check the calendar. Others, however, did not. Radio stations in San Francisco and Sacramento - I'll spare them the embarrassment of printing their call letters - riffed on the story as if it was a done deal. And I can't tell you how many e-mails I got asking me to verify the "Examiner story." There's a rule in journalism about fact-checking that goes like this: If your mother says she loves you, check it out. That goes triple on April Fool's day.

Now for the real story about Cutler vis-à-vis the 49ers. There's certainly interest. There has to be when you don't have an obvious starting quarterback and a 25-year-old, Howitzer-armed Pro Bowler is being dangled in front of you. But don't expect the 49ers to be one of the teams that burst out of the starting gate foaming at the mouth to acquire Cutler. If other teams make a run at Cutler, strike out and the drama drags on, that's when the 49ers would make their move ...

-- Matt Barrows

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Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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