It’s a good thing for Chicago sports fans that the Cubs finally ended their century old World Series title drought because there was little to cheer for when it came to the once powerful Bears.
The Windy City’s NFL team set new standards for rottenness in 2016, posting one of the worst records in the team’s storied history. There were breakdowns on both sides of the ball resulting in a 3-13 final tally that came to a merciful end in a 38-10 blowout loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
The Bears were plagued by injuries and horrible personnel decisions that finally came home to roost. The worst of those being the loss of obscenely overpaid quarterback Jay Cutler who spent 11 games in the hurt locker. Not that a healthy Cutler was any guarantee of success, the mercurial thrower had developed a reputation as a selfish, pouty loser who never justified the price that Chicago paid to get him in a blockbuster 2009 trade with the Denver Broncos where he had quickly worn out his welcome.
Some have claimed that Cutler always got a bad rap but the truth is that he quit on his team by refusing to play hurt in the 2011 NFC Championship game in which the home team lost to the hated rival Green Bay Packers. Bears fans disgustedly burned their Cutler jerseys in the Soldier Field parking lots after the 21-14 loss and the beleaguered quarterback never again enjoyed the prestige or respect of many of them.
Now Cutler is gone. The Bears cut their losses only three years after giving him a monster $126 million contract that made trading him impossible.
The team went out and signed former Tampa Bay Buccaneer backup Mike Glennon to a $45 million deal with $19 million guaranteed and brought in Mark Sanchez of the immortal “butt fumble” for depth. So instead of gambling with the third pick on a rookie thrower Da Bears can fill other pressing needs. In particular on defense.
It’s been a long time since the Monsters of the Midway or the immortal Buddy Ryan’s 1985 defense struck fear into the hearts of opponents. There was some success in the early 2000’s under the ball-hawking bunch led by now retired LB Brian Urlacher but the cupboard is mostly bare.
The third overall pick could begin the replenishment process with LSU safety Jamal Adams, a versatile and athletic defender who could be the second best defensive prospect available – after Myles Garrett. Picking Adams would provide an immediate boost to the D which while not the worst in the league, was far from respectable and got embarrassed down the stretch. The Bears could also be considering former Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore who could quickly develop into a shutdown corner.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 21, 2017
Head coach John Fox will be tasked with overseeing the rebuild although it is difficult to see him sticking around to see it through unless there is immediate improvement and a bounce back from the dregs of 2016.