The deal will get done in 48 hours, everyone will try to deal for him, Denver will get a good price. Right on all three counts.
The price? Wonder also targeted the Bears as one of the likeliest of homes. He said: Cutler for Orton, a #1 and Olsen. Well, in draft pick math, Olsen = low #1 pick, OR high #2 + #4 pick. So he expected ~ Orton, #1 and a high #1 or low #2, it ended up being Orton, two #1's, a #3 and the Bears get back a #5, so still very close to what Wonder was looking at. "The Bears did fine," said Wonder. "They have a good QB for the first time in recent memory. They paid a lot, but they have a great QB." As for his beloved Jets missing on the deal, Wonder suspects that Denver's asking price for an AFC team was probably a lot higher, apples to apples, so that it really came down to what an NFC team could deliver, the Bears paid and got their man.
Wonder knows it would have caused a stink, but given the Broncos were thinking to trade him to the NFC, a trade for Eli Manning? The Giants should have inquired. The reason why the Broncos would have shown some interest and why the Giants probably did stay away is that Eli is a rare commodity in one respect: "he is valuable because he is not ****ed up. Every player these days has some sort of character issue, at least Manning doesn't."
I asked Wonder about the idea and proposal being kicked around to play 18 games. His response was UNEQUIVOCAL: "This is not even worth discussing, that is how stupid it is. It is so insane. Ridiculous. The NFL is asking for trouble. Forget having a full contingent of players. You'll have guys barely walking by the time they get to the Super Bowl. The average person does not understand what the (players) go through every week. This is unbelievably stupid. I'll tell you another thing- Who wins the Super Bowl?? Answer- The coach who has the b*lls to not play his LB and RB for the first 5 games of the season. 16 games works. If I am the NFL Players Association, I reject it out of hand."
Wonder gave a quick Giants draft jab: "Britt, H-Bey or Nicks."
Ultimatenyg here. It is a different discussion when going draft picks for draft picks (Manning for Rivers) or an established player who is young and is a Pro Bowl player. Cutler is a known quantity. The math we did in comparing what the Bears ended up paying above what Wonder expected amounted to essentially a third round pick. And Wonder qualified it beforehand saying that Denver WOULD get paid.. so they got paid. But the Bears got a KNOWN quantity, so they did fine. It was in absolute terms a lot, but then again look how long a team like the Bears can go without a franchise QB.. they do not grow on trees. This is not Albert Haynesworth, a DT who has been injured in ~6 consecutive seasons and could be gone from football in 3-4 years. Cutler has TEN seasons ahead of him. We have seen MANY QBers get better with age, like fine wine, finding the fountain of youth in their mid to late 30's. So how much is all of that worth to a franchise?! A lot.