Last spring, the Chicago Bears made a play for Jay Cutler, a quarterback whom they thought would be the future of their franchise. Indications are, they still feel the same way about him, as they awarded Jay a fat contract extension that will likely be worth as much as $30 million for two years.
Just a few days after locking up Cutler, the Bears went into Cincinnati and got ran over by Cedric Benson, whom they drafted in 2005. Benson seemed to pick up at least ten yards every time he touched the ball. This, of course, put Jay Cutler in a tough position, but his response to the hardship was less than inspiring.
He finished the game with one touchdown pass and three interceptions. Not a $30 million dollar day, as the Bengals steamrolled the Bears 45-10.
Whats most disturbing about the loss is that the Bears trademark defense seems to be missing this season. The heart of their team, Brian Urlacher, hasn't been able to contribute this season, which could have a lot to do with it. But that doesn't matter to the undefeated Broncos. It only gives them more hope that the 2009 Bears will be a complete flop.
The Bears still owe Denver their first round pick this season. This was originally dismissed as a late first round pick, but week by week, it is becoming more apparent that this pick could very well be in the Top 10.
Its double jeopardy for the Bears. The less Cutler does for them on the football field, the higher the draft pick the Bears will fork over for him.
The way things are going, this trade is getting sweeter and sweeter for the Broncos. It is now possible that after trading away their "Franchise Quarterback" in 2009, they could be in line to draft another in the 2010 draft.
As it is now, the Bears have already traded Kyle Orton, Robert Ayers, Seth Olsen, and Richard Quinn for Jay Cutler, and Johnny Knox. The trade already seems one sided, with Robert Ayers proving to be a very solid pass rusher, and Kyle Orton playing mistake free ball. Seth Olsen is good insurance for Denver's veteran offensive line, and Richard Quinn was considered the nation's premiere blocking tight end at the collegiate level.
Johnny Knox may be the only pleasant surprise for the Bears, in an otherwise disappointing season. Cuter has basically thrown an interception for every touchdown pass this season, and his contract will make it even tougher for the Bears to get better in the future, having already given up their first and second round picks in this year's draft. Ouch.
But it just gets worse from there. Bears' GM Jerry Angelo may not know any greater pain than to watch Denver turn around a year after the trade, and use Chicago's pick to draft Jake Locker, or Tim Tebow, or Jim Clausen, or even Sam Bradford, as there is no consensus pick as to which QB will get drafted first this year.
It will be a tough year for Bear fans.