Helps More Than Hurts
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Over the past few weeks, we've discussed Jay Cutler's petulance and predilection for aloofness ad nauseam. So what about his play on the field?
Well, he made the Pro Bowl in 2008, something no Chicago Bears quarterback has done since Jim McMahon in 1985 (and frankly, McMahon's selection was largely based on the performance of the team that year, which was largely based on the performance of the defense that year).
Is Cutler an upgrade over Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman? Certainly. The Bears team led by Orton, and at times Grossman, last season went 9-7 and was part of a trio of teams -- along with Tampa Bay and Dallas -- that was an Eagles-tie away from the playoffs. I'm not certain who had the tie-breakers, but that's not the point. The point is that Chicago went 9-7 last season with mediocre quarterback play. Adding a Pro Bowl player to the mix should surely help them win at least one or two games, which would put them as the top team in the NFC North. Ironically enough, both the Bears and Broncos needed week-17 victories to make the playoffs last year. Both teams lost, so now they're swapping signal callers in an effort to change their luck. Good luck with that.
Will the NFC North be better next year? Probably. Minnesota won the division and should no worse with another year of Adrian Peterson and a stout defense. Does adding Cutler make the Bears any sort of 'team to beat' in the Division, let alone the Conference? By no means. But it does make them better right away.
It will be interesting to see what the Broncos can do with the draft picks they are getting back in return for Cutler. This is one of those trades that will take five years to know who got the better end of the deal. By then Cutler could be the first Bears quarterback in more than 20 years to head to Hawaii (or wherever the game is played now). Or he could anger another coach and owner, pollute another locker room. Or maybe both. Probably both.
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