Broncos guard Chris Kuper remembers sitting in his living room five years ago and texting Jay Cutler, wondering if the rumors were true: that the quarterback wanted to be traded from Denver.

“I think he ultimately wanted to stay here,” Kuper said Wednesday. “But he said there were so many he said/she saids that it’s hard to decipher what was real and what wasn’t.”

Cutler, discouraged that coach Josh McDaniels had discussed acquiring Matt Cassel, requested a trade.

He was dealt to the Bears on April 2, 2009.

“The last guy you’d think would be sent off woulda been Jay,” Kuper said. “He’s the quarterback — and you just don’t find quarterbacks like that.

“You just can’t trade ’em out.”

If Cutler hadn’t been shipped out, the Broncos, stuck with Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow at the controls, might not have parted with their coach, general manager or star wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

Peyton Manning, however, might never have arrived.

It’s a compelling Chicago parlor game, even before you consider the Broncos used the Bears’ draft picks to eventually land defensive end Robert Ayers and, more important, wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.

If Cutler stays in Denver, does Marshall?

Are the Broncos here this week, preparing to play the Seahawks in the Super Bowl?

“It’s almost like they got rid of the whole offense,” said kicker Matt Prater, one of four active Broncos to play in the team’s Cutler era.