So...Should We Just Give Them the Lombardi Trophy Now? Not Quite

Hey guys, you'll never believe what happened yesterday!

Oh, you guys get ESPN too? You've already been bludgeoned over the head by every sports media outlet for the past 18 hours or so with this story? Cool. Then I'll be short with the details.

Yes, one of our NFC North rivals made a big ol' upgrade at QB yesterday. The Bears traded away Kyle "Neckbeard" Orton, their 2009 first and third round picks, and their 2010 first round pick for Jay Cutler and Denver's 2009 5th round pick. Lost in the Cutler Sweepstakes story was the fact that Chicago also signed veteran free agent tackle Orlando Pace.

As a Vikings fan, I hate to admit it, but I gotta tip my hat to our Chi-town rivals. They went big. While the rest of the division has "attacked" the free agency period with the ferocity of a dead sloth thus far, Da Bears made a big splash. They got rid of their mediocre party-animal quarterback and replaced him with a...better party-animal quarterback.

As a Vikings blogger, I hate to admit it, but I'm a bit jealous. Our neighbors over at Windy City Gridiron have a shiny new QB (and former Pro Bowl tackle) to talk about while we get to listen to the crickets coming from Winter Park. Even if the Bears did give up too much to get Cutler--which they most likely did, more on that later--at least they did SOMETHING.

But before everyone goes too bonkers and Bears fans start buying Super Bowl tickets, let's take a step back and heed the advice of the legendary Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction. I'll paraphrase here, but as famously he said at the very end of this clip, let's not start congratulating the Bears on the 2009 NFC North title just yet.



I'll be the first to admit that picking up Jay Cutler and Orlando Pace makes Chicago a much better team in 2009. But even with Jay Cutler's uzi-radar-laser-triple-barrel-double-scope-heat-seeking shotgun of an arm, he still needs wide receivers to throw to.

They have Devin Hester, a speedster who basically runs exactly one route well. He can be dangerous, but not consistently so. They have a solid TE in Greg Olsen., that's pretty much it besides dump-off passes to Matt "Rappin" Forte. (For those of you who get that reference, we probably listened to the same kind of music in 1996. Playaz Club!) We've talked ad nauseum here at the DN about how the Vikings need to improve their wide receiving corps in the draft, but compared to the Bears' current situation, we look like the '99 Rams.

The Bears also gave up a lot to get Cutler. The Bears won the Cutler Raffle, but they also bought a million tickets. If I'm a Denver fan right now, I have to be satisfied with the parting gifts I got for a guy that didn't want to be there any more. The trade almost certainly makes the Broncos a worse team in 2009 (unless they strike gold with their draft picks or Neckbeard goes on a tear), but I'd have to say they probably got the better of the deal long-term.

While I've never been a huge fan of Cutler, I'm fully aware that he would have been a big upgrade on the Vikings. The 2009 Bears definitely look like a more formidable opponent now. As Wes Mantooth might say, I hate the Bears, but I respect the move. But if you think that Cutler instantly transforms the Bears into the NFC North favorite, I disagree. The Vikings are NFC North champions until further notice, thank you very much.



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