By Mike Mulligan-

The NFL’s wild quarterback-go-round often seems as much a game of chance as anything a Las Vegas casino can offer. There’s all sorts of weird connections and strange circumstances that link players in a peculiar democracy of happenstance.

Take Sunday’s meeting between the Bears and Chiefs. Both teams are without their starting quarterbacks as Jay Cutler nurses a broken thumb the Bears pray will heal and Matt Cassel sits on injured reserve with a hand injury. Forget Tyler Palko — God knows the Chiefs want to — he’s on the verge of losing his job to Kyle Orton.

Cassel, Cutler and Orton are intertwined in quarterback lore.

Cassel was reportedly part of a three-way trade discussion between the Broncos and Patriots after the 2008 season that would have sent Cutler from the Broncos to the Lions or Buccaneers. In that scenario Cassel would have been reunited with former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in Denver. McDaniels always has insisted he listened to offers but never actively sought to trade Cutler.

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