Jay Cutler Chicago Bears: Franchise's Moves Will Keep QB on the Field Long-Term

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst IMarch 13, 2013

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 30:  Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears gets ready to throw a fourth quarter pass in front of Lawrence Jackson #94 of the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 30, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. Chicago won the game 26-24. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears have made it a priority to help their star quarterback Jay Cutler this offseason and that couldn't be a better idea to keep him healthy for the future.

So far, the Bears have added tight end Martellus Bennett (per Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com) and more importantly, left tackle Jermon Bushrod (per Albert Breer of NFL.com).

Here is what Cutler had to say about both of those acquisitions, per the Chicago Tribune:

Cutler called the 6-foot-7 Bennett "an extremely athletic guy ... played a lot of basketball growing up, kind of has that tight end/basketball pedigree that people want. He's really good friends with (Brandon Marshall). I was talking to him yesterday and 'B' couldn't be more excited to add him to the team.

Asked how he felt about the prospect of having Bushrod, a two-time Pro Bowl tackle, protecting his blind side, Cutler said, "It makes life easier, that's for sure. Not only for me, but for game planning. You get a guy like that, you can go over there and say, 'Hey, you got that guy,' and we don't have to worry about him and the rest of the line can kind of turn and slide the other way."

It's good to see Cutler is happy with the direction the team is going in as obviously the team wants him content considering he has one more year left on his current deal, per the same report.

Bennett is a nice addition for Chicago considering the team finished with the No. 29 pass attack in the NFL last season. The former New York Giants tight end will give Cutler another option to throw the ball to aside from star receiver, Brandon Marshall.

Marshall had nearly half of the team's total receiving yards last season and no other receiver compiled more than 400 yards through the air. Kellen Davis gave lackluster production from the tight end position for Chicago in 2012 after gaining just 229 yards on 19 catches.

The second Bennett walks into the Bears locker room, he becomes the second-leading receiver on the team after a 2012 campaign that saw him catch 55 passes for 626 yards and five touchdowns for the Giants. He is no doubt a huge upgrade at the position and as a target for Cutler.

However, a lack of targets isn't the only problem the Bears' depressing pass attack had last season. Much of its problems were a result of a lack of protection, which led to a total of 44 sacks allowed, good enough for No. 8 in the NFL.

Not only did that slow the passing attack down considerably as Cutler had no time to go through his progressions, but it also presented a dangerous problem because the Bears quarterback suffered yet another concussion during the season.

Chicago can't hope to keep Cutler on the field long-term if he is continuously subjected to this punishment and that's why the addition of Bushrod is so important.

Bushrod will be protecting Cutler's blindside as the left tackle and he is no slouch as a two-time Pro Bowler during his career. Protection on the edge is vital to keeping some of the best pass-rushers in the league at bay and off of Cutler's back.

The Bears shouldn't be finished with the addition of Bushrod to the offensive line, though. More help will still be needed as the offseason moves along and there stands a chance that another signing could take place, or maybe Chicago will look to add another lineman in the first round of the NFL draft.

Regardless of when and how they do it, the Bears need to continue building their offensive line around Cutler. Not only will it help give the Bears a maximum return on all of their investments on offense, but it will also help keep the star quarterback on the field for as long as possible.