I know it’s a pipe dream, but the Chicago Bears should make a serious play for distraught Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler.
The Bears futility under center has been well documented. It’s the largest positional black hole in sports history.
Cutler, who hails from Santa Claus, Ind., is a Bears fan. He said as much to Dan Patrick prior to the 2006 NFL Draft.
If I’m Chicago GM Jerry Angelo, I’m calling Denver and offering the No. 18 pick and the Broncos choice of any Bears defensive linemen not named Tommie Harris. Say, an Alex Brown. New Denver coach Josh McDaniels can hope that one of the top 3 quarterbacks, most likely Josh Freeman, falls to him or he can package the newly acquired No. 18 pick with their No. 12 selection and try to move up and take a run at Matt Stafford or Mark Sanchez.
A few things are clear: Cutler wants out of Denver. It sounds like McDaniels wants a new quarterback. And we all know the Chicago Bears need a signal caller.
And no, Kyle Orton is not the answer. Is he better than Rex Grossman? I think Rex’s continuing unemployment speaks to that. But Orton is no Jay Cutler. And my desire to replace Orton has nothing to do with my disdain for his alma mater. My roommate is a Purdue grad and he assures me Orton will break my heart. And that seems to be the consensus among my PUke friends.
Plus, after the season ended, Angelo alluded to the fact that he was open to upgrading the quarterback position. He later tried to backtrack, but it’s fair to say he isn’t betting the house on Orton, who is a free agent after the 2009 season.
Chicago has proven it can win in spite of its quarterback play, not because of it. But the dominating defense that spurred the Super Bowl XLI run is aging and becoming frighteningly mediocre. Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs won’t be around forever. There will be a time when the Bears need more than a miraculous defensive or special teams touchdown to win a game, and they’ll need a quarterback capable of leading them there.
If this year’s Super Bowl taught us anything, it’s the importance of having a swashbuckling, heroic QB to save the day. Trent Dilfer winning a Super Bowl in 2001 nearly set quarterbacking back a decade.
The idea of winning with a retread quarterback became commonplace after the Ravens snagged the title in 2001. Just rely on one dominating aspect of the game not having to do with the player who touches it on every snap, and you’re set.
Baltimore had that unstoppable and downright scary defense. What we didn’t realize at the time was that that defense had to be that dominating. They had to be that destructive. They had to be statistically historic. Why? Because Trent Dilfer was playing quarterback.
Good quarterbacks win a playoff game or two and divisions. Great quarterbacks win championships. And the Bears haven’t had a great quarterback since Sid Luckman. And that’s not an attempt at humor, it’s a fact. And that’s not to say Cutler is going to be great. But he’d instantly be the best Bears quarterback in the modern era. This is a franchise’s fanbase that glows when the name Erik Kramer is uttered. You know, Erik Kramer. A 10-year veteran with all of one season with more than 14 touchdown passes (that being the magical 1996 season in which Kramer threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns). But that one year was an anomaly. Though ask any Bears fan who the best quarterback in 20 years has been and Erik Kramer gets the nod hands down. Now that’s the joke.
Try living in Indianapolis where a team was so awful the year before, they get the No. 1 pick and luck into some guy named Peyton Manning. The sport’s most important position set for 12-15 years. These Indy fans are spoiled. Same with the Philly fans and Donovan McNabb. You know the saying, “You don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.” Well trust me, you know what you don’t got when you’ve never had it.
And believe it or not, the Bears have more weapons than one might think. Sure Cutler won’t have Brandon Marshall or Eddie Royal anymore, but Devin Hester definitely made strides in his first full year at wide receiver, Greg Olsen is vastly underused and Matt Forte is a godsend.
Mix in a healthy Kevin Jones (a former 1,000-yard rusher), a Darren Sproles-like hopeful in Garrett Wolfe and Cutler’s favorite college target, Earl Bennett (the Bears’ third rounder last year) who failed to catch a pass during his rookie campaign but big things are expected of, and there’s enough here a franchise quarterback can win with.
And Chicago, here’s a franchise quarterback. He’s ready to be delivered on your doorstep. I know it’s a mentally challenged thought to think the Bears will actually do something bold, but hey, who thought Terrell Owens was going to land in Buffalo?