Bears Beat: Reactions to the Jay Cutler trade

April 2nd, 2009 - 8:08 pm

CBS Sportsline.com’s Clark Judge:
“This is my take on the Chicago Bears’ deal for Jay Cutler: They were better off with Kyle Orton. You heard me. Orton can’t throw the ball as far or as straight as Cutler, and you won’t find anyone drooling over the velocity of his passes. But he has something Cutler does not, and that’s a high score in the leadership department — and, sorry, but I’ll take that over physical ability any day. So the Bears trade away Orton and three draft picks and, sorry, Chicago, your team just got fleeced. Tell me Chicago knows what it’s doing. I just don’t see how he fits in Chicago, and I don’t see why the Bears decided to dump their first round — as well as their quarterback — for someone who has done nothing in three years. Good luck, Chicago. You wanted him. You have him. Now let’s see you win with him.”

ESPN’s John Clayton:
“I think this potentially could put [the Bears] at the top of the division. You can now make a debate that Jay Cutler is the most talented quarterback in the division. When you combine an easy schedule, a 25-year-old Pro Bowl quarterback, a good defense, all of the sudden, the Bears could be the top team in the NFC North.”

NFL Network’s Jamie Dukes:
“From the Bears perspective, they’ve now answered a lot of their own questions. They’re Super Bowl-ready now. Now they have the quarterback to get them there. Was the price too high? I don’t think it was too high. Their defense is intact. Of course they’ll have to sign Cutler at some point, but they also would have had to sign the two first-round picks they traded.”

SI.com’s Michael Lombardi:
“I think it’s a brave move for Jerry Angelo and the Chicago Bear organization. This is a guy that’s proven that he can play very well in the league. He’s got a contract for three more years that’s very reasonable for a quarterback. They got themselves a very good football player.”

Shannon Sharpe on the NFL Network:
“I’m not the biggest Jay Cutler fan. I don’t like particularly the way he carries himself or conducts himself from time to time, but there is no denying his talent. People say, ‘well he was only 17-20.’ Well, look at his record when his defense gave up 20 points or less.”

Chicago Tribune’s Dan Pompei:
“It kind of feels like 1985 after the Bears won the Super Bowl; the [city's] reaction has been pretty strong. Bear fans are so hungry to see a good quarterback that they’re absolutely giddy. This is quite an unusual occurance. I think [expectations] are going to be big and I think they’re going to be difficult for Jay Cutler to fulfill, especially now because the Bears do not have many draft picks to build around him with. They’re going to have to find a way to acquire a wide receiver. I would think that they would probably use their second round pick now on a wide receiver. If not, explore the veteran market further.”

ESPN’s Mike Ditka:
“It sounds like a pretty good deal for both teams. They wanted Jay Cutler in Chicago, they got him, and they gave up what they had to give up to get him. There’s no question Jay Cutler is a good football player. He can throw the football as well as anybody in the National Football League.”

ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski:
“So this is a trade tree with three legacies on the branches. It is a deal that will define the careers of Cutler, McDaniels and Jerry Angelo. … And then there is Angelo, who had said all along that the quarterback position was a huge priority for the Bears. Orton was fine, perhaps better than fine. But to Angelo, Cutler is a franchise changer, a 25-year-old Pro Bowl quarterback whose arrival could alter the balance of power in the NFC North for years to come. You have to give Angelo credit for taking the plunge with Cutler. It was more than bold move; it was a move that will end up in the first or second paragraph of his obituary.”

ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert:
“I’m guessing that when Angelo woke up Thursday morning, he had no idea he would acquire a quarterback that would end the Bears’ organizational drought at the position. He couldn’t have predicted that with one mid-afternoon decision, he could upend his reputation as a conservative talent evaluator who eschewed bold moves in favor of developing his drafted players.”

FoxSports.com’s Alex Marvez:
“This deal betters the Bears, no question. But improvement from last year’s 9-7 record isn’t a given. While [Cutler] will be working with an outstanding young running back (Matt Forte) and a decent enough offensive line after Thursday’s free-agent signing of tackle Orlando Pace, Chicago still fields one of the NFL’s worst wide receiver corps. Devin Hester has blazing speed but isn’t nearly as complete a wideout as Brandon Marshall, Cutler’s favorite target in Denver. Rashied Davis and Brandon Lloyd were mediocre at best in 2008. Earl Bennett — a 2008 third-round pick who didn’t have a catch last season — was working with the starters during a recent Bears minicamp. The fact Chicago almost reached the playoffs last year was largely a testament to the NFL’s best special teams units, Forte’s production and Orton’s efficient quarterbacking until a midseason ankle injury. I just wouldn’t be expecting a Ferris Bueller-like parade down the streets of Chicago in February quite yet, even though the Cutler acquisition itself is reason to celebrate.”

FoxSports.com’s Jay Glazer:
“Certainly the Bears have had a difficult quarterback situation for a couple years now. They now get a bona fide quarterback there and a guy with some swagger.”

SI.com’s Don Banks:
“For the Bears, a team that hasn’t had a headline quarterback since Jim McMahon was wearing headbands in the Super Bowl, the move to acquire Jay Cutler late Thursday afternoon was the kind of bold stroke Chicago has rarely been accused of during Jerry Angelo’s tenure as general manager. Having won the Cutler sweepstakes — and rapidly at that — the Bears have instantly upgraded their quarterback position to the best in the NFC North. They did so at a very steep price — two first-round picks, a third-rounder and incumbent starting quarterback Kyle Orton — but it’s the kind of win-now move that signals Chicago felt it had gone as far as it was going to go with a middle-of-the-road QB under center.”

SI.com’s Peter King:
“Jay Cutler has three people to blame for his trade from the most talented young offensive team in football to one of the least: 1. Jay Cutler. 2. Jay Cutler. 3. Jay Cutler. It’s a massive step down. Maybe Cutler will make the Bears a lot better. He certainly should. The saddest thing here? Cutler could have been a truly great player in McDaniels’ offense. He may be great with the Bears; he certainly has the talent to be.”

CBS Sportsline.com’s Pete Prisco:
“When breaking down the Chicago Bears decision to trade two first-round picks, a third-round pick and quarterback Kyle Orton to land franchise passer Jay Cutler from Denver Broncos, the price appears steep, but it isn’t when you land a 25-year-old quarterback with Cutler’s skills. Chicago has needed a real passer since the days of Sid Luckman. That was 60 years ago. The Bears don’t have great receivers, but that could have been a product of poor quarterback play. I remember at the Super Bowl this year when Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald was asked about playing with Kurt Warner. Fitzgerald said he thought great quarterbacks make receivers, not the other way around. He also said he felt sorry for those receivers who didn’t get to play with a quarterback who could deliver the ball on time and accurately. That’s been the case in Chicago for some time.”

Chicago Tribune’s Rick Morrissey:
“If Jay Cutler doesn’t raise red flags, Bears fans, you are color blind. From all appearances and indications, he has the maturity level of larva. Cutler said he loved everything about Denver, including the fans and his teammates. Yet he wanted out at the first hint of trouble. Why should anyone believe it will be different in Chicago?”

Chicago Tribune’s Steve Rosenbloom:
“No way. Way. Bears general manager Jerry Angelo made the biggest move of his career. Maybe the biggest move in Bears history, but certainly the move that will define Angelo’s career. I never believed Angelo could do it, but he did, and he still left himself with a second-round pick that should be high enough to get the wide receiver that Cutler desperately needs, even if they sign a veteran wide receiver that suddenly has to see this situation as a lot more attractive. At worst, the Bears have a quarterback that Devin Hester can’t out-run.”

Chicago Sun-Times’ Mike Mulligan:
“The Bears have given lip service to the quarterback position for decades, but in one of the boldest moves in franchise history on Thursday they may finally have solved the position. Cutler, who turns 26 this month, made the Pro Bowl last year and possesses a dizzying array of talents, including one of the strongest arms in the league, a quick release, excellent feet and the ability to run out of trouble.”

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher:
“I guess the Bears felt like we needed another quarterback, so they made a move. They gave up a lot. Cutler must be pretty good. I guess we got better as a team. You get a quarterback who is a Pro Bowl guy. But I will say this: I think Kyle Orton is a good quarterback. He’s a great teammate. I hope he does really well in Denver.”

Bears wide receiver Devin Hester:
“[We] went out there and made a pretty good move. My thoughts go out to Kyle Orton, I feel like he was getting ready to come to his peak, but the NFL is a business and things happen for a reason. But on the other side of the hand now we have Jay Cutler, which has proven himself as a Pro Bowl quarterback. I think he’ll come in and kind of boost up the team and probably fill in some of the pieces we’re looking for. I feel like Jerry [Angelo] and those guys are really making big steps and they’re going out and doing whatever it takes and they’re shocking me because they’re making big moves and things that you know we’ve been striving for to get back to being a Super Bowl team. The moves that they’re making are incredible and we’re striving to be a Super Bowl team.”

Bears kicker Robbie Gould:
“We’re definitely excited about it. I think Jay’s going to bring a lot to the city of Chicago, the organization of the Bears, and I think we bolstered our offense with another weapon. I know Jay’s going to come in and do a great job for us. The city’s been in a buzz since the rumor started and hopefully Jay’s going to come in, learn the offense quickly, and get the guys behind him. I’ve heard nothing but great things about him.”

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