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Welcome, Jay Cutler!

Welcome, Jay Cutler!


Jay Cutler’s arrival in Chicago will make things much more exciting for Packer fans.






What does the Chicago Bears’ acquisition of Jay Cutler mean for Packer fans? I can answer that question in three simple words: Fun, fun, fun! The appearance of a big-time QB in Chicago will put some juice into the oldest rivalry in the NFL, which in recent years has played second fiddle to the much younger Packers-Vikings rivalry.

It is highly questionable whether this was a good move for the Bears, especially considering the price they paid for Cutler and the fact that Kyle Orton had become a solid NFL QB in the past year. My own hunch is that it was indeed a good move. The Bears have not had an above-average QB at least since Jim McMahon, and his time in the limelight was brief anyway. I am not alone in being very impressed with Jay Cutler since he came into the league. The way he moves in the pocket, the way he throws, his air of authority in running an offense…. He’s got all the tools. He’s still a little raw and interception-prone, but he has yet to come into his prime. In fact, he reminds me a little of…Oh, nevermind.

Now, of course there is the character factor, which is a real concern considering how Cutler crybabied his way out of Denver. When he learned that his name had come up in trade talks, he went into a pout and eventually refused to even return his coach’s phone calls. Prima donna behavior, to be sure. I don’t like it any more than most fans do. Some sportswriters and former NFL players feel the same way. But one place where I have yet to hear any criticism of Cutler is from current NFL players. In fact, some of them have defended him. And for that reason, I don’t think Cutler’s behavior will hurt his standing with his teammates. Professional football players tend to be a tightly knit bunch. And being a prima donna QB is not exactly an unusual thing in the NFL.

What I like best about Cutler in Chicago is that it will set up a natural rivalry for Aaron Rodgers. Both QB’s are about the same age and are just beginning to establish themselves as impact players in the NFL. Suddenly, every Packers-Bears game (including, for goodness’ sake, the season opener on Sunday Night Football with Michaels and Madden calling the game!) will have a story line. This will have the added benefit of reducing the amount of time spent on the inevitable Favre-Rodgers comparisons. Every occasion when Aaron Rodgers is compared to Jay Cutler is an occasion when he is not compared to Brett Favre, and that’s a healthy thing for everyone. We all need some relief from the Favre vs. Rodgers debates, and to those few who disagree with that statement, don’t worry—there will still be plenty of Favre-Rodgers comparisons to keep you occupied.

The storylines with this Cutler trade are all over the place—so numerous that it would seem that no single one of them could possibly be flogged to death, although the sportswriters and talking heads (not to mention us Internet addicts) will certainly give it their best try. Can Cutler bring an offense that has been lacking in firepower to a new level? Will he be embraced by the Chicago fans? And best of all, can he defeat the Bears’ arch rival 200 miles to the north, who have a promising young QB of their own?

The season starts tomorrow, right? Please tell me that it starts tomorrow!

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (10) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Erik's picture

Great post. The first real even handed post I've seen on a Packer's page about the Cutler deal. Too much of it has been "CUTLER SUCKS, LIKE THE BEARS, WHO STILL SUCK, GO PACK!!!11!@!!" Thanks for a much more level headed look at the situation, Greg.

IronMan's picture

That's what you get from Greg C. He tells it like it is.

Well done Greg.

Andyman's picture

I agree with Erik - great post.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

Another great read. Football does not start tomorrow. I am pretty sure on that one.

PackersRS's picture

It will be a great rivalry once again, that's for sure. But when you have a team oriented, though qb that in his FIRST year as starter (hell, he was a rookie last year, and filling the shoes of #4!) has 4000+ yds, 25+tds, 15- ints and a 93.8 rating (if you consider this his rookie season, it's perhaps the greatest rookie season of all time), AND HAS GREGORY JENNINGS JR., Donald Driver, James Jones and Jordy Nelson, ALL soft handed, YAC specialists, we will always have a better passing offense...

Asshalo's picture

Depsite the fact this immediately makes the bears better, we won't really know if this was a good trade or not for years later as posts on the 2006 draft indicated.

What most bears fans are missing (except michael wilbon) is that they pretty much bet the farm on Cutler. They literally expect this position to be solved for the next 10 years. There's the possibility of injuries taking out individual seasons and ultimately cutting a 15 year career down to 8 or nine. Its like they think its a talented QB's god given right to be a legend. And those first round picks are going to take their told in the near future-- leaving holes in the place on the one they've filled. A lot remains to be seen. I was too young for this but a wise man informed me of Minnesota's trade for Herschel Walker. Talk about worst case scenario for the Queens.

Greg C.'s picture

The Bears did pay a lot for Cutler, but here's a dose of perspective from Peter King's Sports Illustrated column yesterday:

If anyone thinks the Bears paid too much, let me show you the 14 men who have been first-round picks for the Bears in the last 15 drafts: John Thierry, Rashaan Salaam, Walt Harris, Curtis Enis, Cade McNown, Brian Urlacher, David Terrell, Marc Colombo, Michael Haynes, Rex Grossman, Tommie Harris, Cedric Benson, Greg Olsen, Chris Williams. Let's eliminate judging the last two, from 2007 and 2008, because they don't have enough on their résumés yet. Let's look at the other 12.

Stars: 1 (Urlacher).

Very good NFL starters: 1 (Tommie Harris).

NFL starters: 2 (Walt Harris, Marc Colombo).

Had some moments, but ultimately failed: 3 (Grossman, Thierry, Haynes).

Busts: 5 (Salaam, Enis, McNown, Terrell, Benson).

Four of the 12 became consistent NFL starters, or better. An awful, awful track record.
(end of quote)

Now, if Ted Thompson had made this Cutler deal, it would be time to send him to the hospital for an MRI on his head. But Thompson drafted a potential franchise QB with his very first pick, and he had strong QB coaches to develop him. But who have the Bears had to coach their QB's? Not Mike McCarthy and not Mike Shanahan, that's for sure. That's why I can't blame them for going out and getting a talented QB who has already been developed, for the most part.

Graffin's picture

Wow, awesome article. Hadn't thought about how this would switch all the comparisons to Cutler, can't tell you how happy that makes me. Going to very exciting, but I can't lie, I'm a bit nervous.

bozz_2006's picture

I can almost hear Madden now, "The Favre-replacement vs. The Next Favre". Should be exciting... If Cutler has the foresight to bring plenty of kleenexes to dry his cry-baby eyes. Boo-frickety-hoo, Jay. You just got Rodged!

marc's picture

yea I agree w/everyone, great post, it will be interesting to see who will be better between rodgers and cutler, rodgers did get to play under brett favre...thats all I'm saying

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