Sure would be nice if Bears took this kind of QB gamble

Published3/2/2009 12:08 AM

The Bears and other NFL teams had a million reasons not to trade for Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel.

If Bill Belichick let him go he must not be that good. He's a one-year wonder. He could be the next Scott Mitchell-sized QBust. The Pats had a scary $14.65 million franchise tag on him for this season.


Meanwhile, the Chiefs had one primary reason to acquire Cassel: They need a quarterback to provide production and stability.

As if the Bears don't have a similar need.

Yes, I'm envious that Kansas City acquired Cassel for a second-round draft pick. I don't know whether he's all that good, for some reason wasn't available to the Bears, or simply was too expensive.

But this just smacks too much of "Kyle Orton is our quarterback."

Hey, Halas Hall, live a cliché, shoot the moon, roll the dice, look for reasons to gamble on a quarterback rather than not to, dare to be great at this position rather than hope to be.

Listen, there's little doubt the risk-reward tilts toward risk on Cassel, but it does any time any team drafts, signs or trades for any quarterback.

Two bold moves at the position come to mind, one here and one in Green Bay. The one here failed miserably and the one there succeeded wildly.

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I rarely say anything nice about Dave Wannstedt, and you wouldn't think that acquiring the wrong guy in Rick Mirer would be the reason I will now - but at least Wanny took a shot.

Ron Wolf took his shot shortly after arriving as Green Bay's general manager. He recognized how important the quarterback is and acquired one from Atlanta.

Teams had myriad reasons to avoid Brett Favre. He was wild and crazy in both his game and lifestyle and had achieved nothing in the NFL.

How did that work out, Bears fans?

Anyway, quarterbacks are to football what closers are to baseball and 7-footers are to basketball.

Teams have to take chances on them. They have to overpay for them. They have to try, try and try again to hit on the right one.


Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli is trying in Kansas City what Wolf tried in Green Bay. In an attempt to solidify the game's most important position, Pioli acquired a quarterback to build around.

Sure, that's just what Wanny tried by acquiring Mirer in Chicago. Hey, when it comes to quarterbacks you win some and you lose some.

The worst thing a team can do is to be content with less just because it was burned in the past.

As the Bears have, the Chiefs wallowed around with a bunch of quarterback lessers and losers, then determined Cassel was worth the second-round investment and big-salary commitment.

If the guy doesn't work out, Kansas City will have to go after the next quarterback available, and maybe the next one after that.

Belichick knows Cassel and was willing to give him up? Well, Pioli was New England's personnel chief and was willing to take him.

I'm just saying it's time for the Bears to quit trading down to draft a quarterback and start trading up. It's time to quit fearing a major move won't work and start believing one might.

Better that the Bears gamble on greatness at quarterback than settle for mediocrity.

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