Bears introduce Cutler

By Sports Network

The Sports Network

The Chicago Bears introduced their new acquisition on Friday as quarterback Jay Cutler expressed his excitement at a new start after ending what was a tumultuous offseason with the Denver Broncos.
Denver shipped the disgruntled Cutler to Chicago Thursday evening in a trade that netted the Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton, a 2009 first-round draft pick (18th overall), a 2009 third-round draft selection (84th overall) and a 2010 first-round draft pick.
Cutler's deal to Chicago came two days after the Broncos had publicly said they were ready to trade their starting QB.
The Bears, in addition to receiving a 2009 fifth-round draft pick (140th overall), got what they hope will be the franchise player the team has been seeking after years of a revolving door at the quarterback position.
"There was a lot said on the Broncos part and my part over the last couple months. I think both sides would possibly do a few things different, but everything happens for a reason. That's behind me," said Cutler, who chose to mostly skirt the details of his breakup with the Broncos and focus on what he called a new opportunity. "In the end, I think both parties felt it was best if we part ways. I think the Broncos are happy with the decision and happy with how it turned out and I think the Bears are too.
"It's been a 48-hour whirlwind. It hasn't quite settled in yet. This is a dream come true and I'm looking forward to being here. It's something I've always dreamed of doing. I grew up a Bears fan, so this is coming full circle, and having a chance to play, it's a dream come true."
Thus ends a saga that began two weeks ago when Cutler's agent, Bus Cook, made a request to the Broncos for a trade. At the time, new Denver head coach Josh McDaniels reiterated his desire to keep Cutler as the team's quarterback, only a little while after Denver explored a trade opportunity to add former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel. Cassel was subsequently traded to division rival Kansas City.
McDaniels reportedly admitted to Cutler that he had pursued Cassel and that he was not apologetic about it. Cutler felt betrayed by the club, feeling that he was supposed to be the team's franchise quarterback.
"It could have worked out, but it was going to require a two-way commitment," McDaniels said at a news conference earlier Friday. "It became obvious there wasn't going to be a two-way commitment. It became clear it was not going to work out. It was a situation where communication became an issue. At that point, it got progressively worse. I understand he wasn't happy with what happened."
The 25-year-old Cutler was drafted by the Broncos in the first round in 2006 out of Vanderbilt. A one-time Pro Bowl selection, he was viewed as Denver's quarterback for years to come but now joins a Bears team that was in the Super Bowl three seasons ago but has seen 12 different players lead the team in passing since 1993.
"I couldn't be more excited to help the team win and bring a championship back to Chicago. The history and tradition of this team, the town itself, the fans; we have a lot of talent. I think we're going to be really close. I'm going to be a teammate first. That's one of the first things I want to get across to these guys," said Cutler.
For his career, which is comprised of 37 games, all starts, in three seasons, Cutler has thrown for 54 touchdowns, with 37 interceptions, for an overall rating of 87.1. He never led the Broncos to the playoffs in his two years as the full-time starter.
Last season, Cutler threw for 4,526 yards, 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, but the team dropped its final three games and lost out on the division crown on the last day of the season, as the team was crushed by San Diego to give the Chargers the title.
"We felt that he's a very good person, a good leader. He had some things that happened in Denver. We recognize those, but we treated them as just speed bumps, part of the growing process. He's highly competitive, he's highly emotional. That just comes with the territory," said Bears general manager Jerry Angelo on Thursday. "The rarity of the opportunity makes it unique, but being in this situation as long as I've been, you just know when things are right. Part of it is a gut feeling."
It had been reported that the Redskins, Buccaneers, Lions and Titans were all in the hunt to land Cutler as well.

Posted on Fri, Apr. 03, 2009 06:08 PM