Jay Cutler was born in Santa Claus, Indiana in 1983. He attended Heritage Hills High School in Lincoln City, Indiana, and played three years there at quarterback. Cutler attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and started all 45 career games that he played for the Vanderbilt Commodores football team, the most starts by a quarterback in school history. The Commodores were 11–35 during his tenure. In 2002, Cutler set the school record for touchdowns and rushing yards by a freshman and rushed for more yards than any other Southeastern Conference quarterback that year.
Cutler was expected to be a high draft pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, and was ranked by many experts as the third-best quarterback prospect, after Matt Leinart of USC and Vince Young of Texas. After attracting interest from the Oakland Raiders, the Detroit Lions, the Arizona Cardinals and the Baltimore Ravens, Cutler was selected by the Denver Broncos with the 11th pick in the draft. After a strong training camp in 2006, Cutler was promoted from third to second on the Broncos' quarterback depth chart ahead of Bradlee Van Pelt; and then the 2007 NFL season marked Cutler's first full season as the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos.
On April 2, 2009 Cutler was traded to the Chicago Bears along with a fifth-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.
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