NFL Free Agency 2012: 5 Reasons the Chicago Bears Must Sign QB Chad Henne

Ross ReadContributor IIIMarch 4, 2012

NFL Free Agency 2012: 5 Reasons the Chicago Bears Must Sign QB Chad Henne

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    When Jay Cutler went down with an injury last season, the Bears thought they had a capable backup on the roster. They were wrong.

    The situation triggered a domino that led to the firing of GM Jerry Angelo and subsequent retirement of Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz. It's hard to imagine the Bears going into next season without an experienced backup for Jay Cutler.

    Here are five reasons why they should sign Chad Henne

Remember Last Season?

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    Remember what happened last season? The Bears were flying high after their victory in Week 11 against San Diego. They were 7-3 winning five straight until the news broke that evening that quarterback Jay Cutler had a broken thumb.

    Cutler was lost for the season, and in came Caleb Hanie. Hanie never started a game, and it showed. Hanie threw nine interceptions and only three touchdowns in four starts. The Bears dropped five out of their last six games, winning their final one in Minnesota. Josh McCown started the final two games of the season. 

Experience Is Needed

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    Chad Henne made his first career start in October of 2009. While his 13-18 career record as a starter is sub-par, it is also worth noted he has played on some poor Dolphins teams. Henne does have a career completion percentage of 60 percent, with a quarterback rating of 75.7. Very serviceable numbers for a backup.  

Full Velocity

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    What was probably lost in the cool breezes of South Beach is Chad Henne's size and arm strength. At 6'3'', 230 lbs., Henne has the ability to get the ball down field, something Caleb Hanie struggled with in Jay Cutler's absence.

    A big part of the Bears offense will be to throw the football down the field through the windy elements at Soldier Field. Henne is used to the weather from his Michigan days and would have no problem with arm strength. 

Buyer's Market

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    Chad Henne is coming off yet another injury. While the potential is there, he just has not been healthy enough to compete for a starting job in the NFL this upcoming season. He will not cost a lot of money. It would be a wise and cheap investment for the Bears to bring in a backup with more experience and upside than what has been on the roster the last couple of seasons. 

Youthful Determination

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    Chad Henne will be just 27 years old at the start of the 2012 season. He has a lot of football left in him and will look to prove so. Nobody wants to see Jay Cutler get hurt again, but if by some chance Henne has to take the helm, he will have motivation on his side. If he ever wants to get another starting gig while he is still young, Henne will have to prove he has what it takes. A backup looking for something to prove is always worthwhile.