As I read the particulars of the Jay Cutler trade, the information and opinion sounded oddly familiar.
First round, third round draft picks, 8-8 team now turned into legitimate contender.
When the Vikings landed Jaren Allen last season, there were four painful months of having to listen to Vikings fans worship their new hero, to read articles about how this changes things, how Allen now made them Superbowl favorites.
Now the Bears have their own prize in Cutler. They are excited and elated, and they should be. Cutler gives them a dimension they have rarely had over the years; a promising quarterback.
But it came at a price. The same price this year for Cutler, first and third round draft picks, that the Vikings parted with for Allen. Oh, and the Bears lost their 2010 first rounder as well.
No, Bears fans, it is not different. At least, not at first. Cutler still needs people to throw to, and I mean receivers. Greg Olsen and Matt Forte are talented, but cannot carry the team.
Besides converted kick returner Devin Hester, the Bears have at wide receiver:
- Rashied Davis
- Marty Booker
- Earl Bennett
- Brandon Lloyd
Yeah. It's not pretty. I'll be nice to Bear fans and not slaughter the notion that Bennett will now become a superstar because his Cutler is back.
You get a week of celebration, then back to the reality that Hester is only qualified to be a No. 2.
The Bears defense is getting older, and is not the dominant force it was in 2006. The past two seasons have not exactly been "Monsters of the Midway" worthy, ranking 28th and 21st in yards allowed per game.
There are still huge holes, much like the 2008 Vikings had. Fans tried to justify Bernard Berrian as a catalyst for their offense. As for their quarterback, well, we don't have to get into that mess.
Now, I'm not trying to say Cutler will not be an improvement, he will be. Cutler was better in every category than Orton was, but Cutler had better options in Denver.
There is no Brandon Marshall or Eddie Royal on the current Bears roster. Brandon Stokley would even find himself as a starter in Chicago.
One player does not make a team. The Vikings thought they had the missing piece to take them to the Super Bowl. Allen performed his duty, racking up three tackles, two sacks, and even forced a fumble in the Vikings only playoff match. Minnesota still lost by 12.
Unless the Bears find a wide receiver through free agency, there will be a waiting period before Cutler matches the numbers he had at Denver.
Cutler will be good, but he is not the immediate link to the Bears second Super Bowl. The Bears clearly have made their investment for the future, but that future is still a couple years away.
As the Vikings experienced in 2008, it takes a team to win in the playoffs.
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