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Bears Need to Get Creative in Offer for Cutler

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Bears Need to Get Creative in Offer for Cutler
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Chicago is stirring once again, and yes, the fans have visions of a Cutler trade dancing in their heads.

With Denver's announcement yesterday that Jay Cutler is officially on the trading block, trade speculation in the Windy City has transformed into an obsession. 

People are talking about it on the streets, in the papers, and even on Facebook.

Everybody seems to be playing GM, coming up with hypothetical trade offers and compensation for Denver's disgruntled Pro Bowl quarterback. 

Some consist purely of draft picks. 

An overwhelming number, however, have the Bears packaging draft picks with players such as Kyle Orton, Nathan Vasher, and even Brian Urlacher.

Guys like Orton and Vasher may have fallen out of fan favoritism, but their inclusion in trade speculation seems to be nothing more than an effort to make hypothetical offers seem bigger than they actually are. 

It's not sweetening the deal.  It's just throwing the Broncos a bone.

One idea that doesn't seem to be getting tossed around in the discussion is the possibility of conditional compensation.

Imagine this: in exchange for Jay Cutler, the Bears offer Denver their 18th and 84th overall picks in this year's draft, as well as a conditional 2010 pick. 

That condition could be the number of yards that Cutler passes for this season, or his number of touchdown passes.  It could be based on Chicago's 2009 record, Denver's, or both.  Perhaps it could be a higher pick if Cutler makes the Pro Bowl than if he doesn't.

The benefit of including a conditional draft pick in the deal is it takes into account how the trade actually impacts both teams, rather than just how it could impact one or both.

A conditional draft pick was used as compensation for Brett Favre when he was sent from the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets this past summer. 

In their deal, the draft pick that the Packers received in return for Favre varied depending on Favre's percentage of offensive snaps in 2008, as well as how the Jets fared in the offseason.

When it comes down to it, the Bears won't be able to acquire Cutler if they don't put the best offer down on the table. 

They may not have an overwhelming amount of firepower to package, but offering a conditional pick is the type of scenario that could give both teams an incentive to not only make the deal happen, but to succeed as well.

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