No fooling: Bears could resurface with two moves

April 1st, 2009 - 10:16 am

It’s April Fools Day and it’s customary to play practical jokes on friends, family, and co-workers, but there are some interesting rumors swirling around Chicago that could have immensely positive results for the Bears, assuming there’s no fooling involved.

The first of which is the news out of Denver that Broncos owner Pat Bowlen released a statement saying that after he and new head coach Josh McDaniels failed to reach disgruntled quarterback Jay Cutler over the past 10 days, the team is now willing to grant Cutler’s request to be traded.

ESPN NFL draft guru, Mel Kiper, had this to say a while ago about Cutler:

“This guy was overhyped at the combine, he was overhyped at Senior Bowl week, He’s been overhyped before he was drafted. The media, they love Jay Cutler. Jay Cutler can do no wrong. I’ve been saying he’s overrated since day one. Everyone’s been pounding their chests saying, ‘Oh, I love Jay Cutler, I’m a genius.’ They have egg on their face now.”

While I don’t agree with everything Kiper said, I do feel Cutler is a bit overhyped. I credit Mike Shanahan with a lot of Cutler’s success as well as his growth and development. Nevertheless, I’m no dummy. Cutler, a Pro Bowler, would be an upgrade over Kyle Orton and could be the solution to a quarterback drought this town can’t seem to overcome.

Whether or not the Bears have enough to offer the Broncos in return for Cutler — and if they’re willing to do so — is another story. They’ll likely have to part with multiple high draft picks, and general manager Jerry Angelo covets all his picks like they were priceless treasures.

The other rumor involving the Bears is that they’re in hot pursuit of 7-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Pace. Pace, who has been bothered by injuries the past few years, was cut by the St. Louis Rams this off-season. If the Bears landed him, they’d likely play him at left tackle and let Chris Williams and Kevin Shaffer compete for the other spot. That would mean Frank Omiyale could move to guard, helping to solidify the offensive line across the board.

I’m in favor of the Bears going after both players aggressively as long as they don’t overpay Pace or give up too much for Cutler. And if the Bears were able to insert both players into the starting lineup this season, I’m confident that with a new defensive coaching staff intact, the Bears will have a well-rounded team that can compete for the NFC North division title and make some noise in the playoffs.

Who said you had to be quick out of the free agency gates? The Bears have had a plan and are sticking to it. Let’s just hope that plan includes a couple of Pro Bowlers.