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Friday, April 3, 2009

Jay Cutler a Chicago Bear

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Jay Cutler finally escaped from the Denver Broncos to a team that wants him, namely the Chicago Bears. If reports are true this afternoon, Jay Cutler is now a Chicago Bear, having been traded for two first round picks, one third round pick, and the Bears' Kyle Orton. Obviously, it will look like the Bears got the best end of the deal by getting Cutler, and the Broncos lost big time by getting Orton. Will that really be the case?

The case for the Bears making out like a bandit is obvious. Cutler may be the most prolific quarterback the Bears have had in decades, at least according to stats. Every year, the Bears have had a great defense, and little to no productivity from their quarterbacks. For all of Cutler's recent faults, he flung for over 4,000 yards last year, which are foreign numbers for Bears quarterbacks. With the Bears finally getting a high flying quarterback, at a time where there is no dominant team in the NFC Central, the Bears will instantly be pegged as an NFC favorite. However, Cutler got his yards and touchdowns in the AFC, where there was often little defense.

How will Cutler fare against the bruising, defensive attacks of the Bears' NFC Central rivals?

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Can Cutler's style blend in among the Bears, and the NFC? There is more of a chance that it won't than one might think, especially with all the negativity Cutler has to overcome from this offseason. However, even if Cutler doesn't deliver, the Bears will get applause for taking a chance. The Broncos, on the other hand, have a lot more to lose. Losing Cutler has been a black mark for the new administration of coach Josh McDaniels.

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Even worse, McDaniels' replacement seems to be Kyle Orton, who frequently disappointed for the Bears.

Broncos fans are bound to think that replacing Orton for Cutler is a big step down. If that turns out to be the case, McDaniels will be in a hole which he may not recover from. But McDaniels comes from the England Patriots">New England Patriots system, where they could interchange anyone. The Patriots' system turned an unlikely player named Tom Brady into a superstar, and turned Matt Cassel from a backup to a star last year. If he wants to stick with Orton, McDaniels could work around his weaknesses and develop him into a success within his system, like his Patriots bosses did for Brady and Cassel. In addition, with the AFC West having taken a big step down last year, the Broncos may only have the Chargers to deal with.

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With brand new draft picks out of the deal, McDaniels may be able to develop the Broncos into a long term success, even if Orton doesn't work in the short term.

Still, McDaniels, Orton and the Broncos have a shorter margin for error to work with than Cutler and the Bears do. But if things pay off for Cutler and the Bears, Chicago may finally have a feared offense for the first time that anyone can remember.