-- Matt, Montreal
I think Marshall's presence should have the opposite effect. If Cutler is in a situation where he doesn't have a great option, a throw to Marshall is a safer throw than a throw to
because of Marshall's size and ability to compete for balls. But if, as you suggest, Cutler locks onto Marshall when he has better options, that will lead to problems. I think Cutler is too smart to do that consistently.
-- Will Providence, Denver
Look, any time you can acquire an elite quarterback, it's usually a good deal no matter the price. But I don't see this trade as lopsided as you do. At least not yet. Maybe in a few years I'll see it differently. I think if the Bears could do the Cutler trade over again, they would in a heartbeat. And they would be justified. The potential reward was well worth the risk. The only issue in judging the trade is determining if Cutler is an elite quarterback. I'm not sure he's there yet, but he may be close. He was playing the best football of his Bears career when he broke his thumb last season. Perhaps if he had stayed healthy, he would have done enough over the rest of the season to enter into that
zone. But Cutler has been streaky and has not produced as consistently or won as consistently as those players. And despite the fact that the
haven't gotten much out of the deal, the Bears still gave up quite a bit to get Cutler. If Cutler can consistently perform the way he did for a six game stretch, though, he will justify the cost.
-- Sid Fernandez, Dayton, Ohio
Cutler, Marshall and Forte are a very talented trio. I wouldn't compare them to three Hall of Famers because none of the Bears has proven they are worthy of such a comparison. But I would compare them favorably to other trios in the league. The Bears' triplets have a chance to be the best triplets currently in the NFL. Other good ones include the
) and the
-- Scott Dennler, Columbus Junction, Iowa
I wouldn't move up for Coples, and I'm not even sure I would take him if he fell to me if I was picking 19th. He has top-of-the-draft talent, but Coples doesn't always play like it. NFL scouts question his motor, his passion for the game and his coachability. I think he is going to drop in the draft. To move up five to seven picks in the first round probably would not be cheap, either. It depends on how badly the trading team wants to move and if there is competition, but I would say it would probably cost a third-round pick for such a move.
-- James Hunter
I doubt they could get a second-round pick to move down three or four spots. I've gotten mixed reviews on Branch from scouts I've spoken with. They like his speed off the edge but aren't sold on his competitiveness and instincts. I'd have to see what was on the board at 19 before I committed to a move like this, but I like the way you are thinking, James.
-- Steve, New Jersey
I think Umenyiora is a fine player, but I'm not crazy about the idea from the Bears' perspective. Umenyiora is 30 and needs a new contract. Trading for him would be like signing a free agent from a financial standpoint, because it would cost the same amount of money except you would lose trade compensation as well. The Bears need a 22-year-old pass rusher a lot more than they need a 30-year-old pass rusher. The defense is getting old and doesn't need another aging player. For the long-term interests of the franchise, the Bears can't afford to keep trading away draft picks, given where they are as a team.
-- Chris, Chandler, Arizona
Here is the problem with Kirkpatrick. He has some character issues (he was arrested for marijuana possession but no charges were filed) and did not impress some teams in his interviews. Here is the problem with Barron. He was a strong safety in college who might not be able to keep up with the slot receivers and fast tight ends in the NFL. He also is coming off surgery to repair a double sports hernia, and he has not been able to work out for scouts and answer questions about just how quick and athletic he is. All that being said, if I could live with Kirkpatrick's demeanor and character, I'd go with him. He is a 6-2 cornerback with excellent athleticism. In the NFL, I think his ceiling is higher than Barron's.
-- Ryan, Greenville, N.C.
The Bears have not shown any interest in the type of tight end Fleener is, but that does not necessarily mean they would not consider him. The team repeatedly has expressed satisfaction with
, but Fleener is in a different class. If
could figure out a way to use Fleener, I think it would make a lot of sense for the Bears to consider him depending on who is on the board.
-- Augusto De La Torre
Not necessarily. Compensatory picks are rewarded through a complicated formula that is most easily explained by saying they are determined by the difference of the contracts signed by the team and the players lost by the team, as well as by the performances of the players. At least part of the formula is subjective. So whether the Bears received a comp pick for Manning was about more than losing Manning and how much he signed for.
-- Bob Henkels, Pittsburgh
The Bears have nine NFL championships, including their lone
victory. That includes the 1921 championship that technically was won by the Chicago Staleys, which became the Bears. The Packers have 13 total championships. The Bears won two championships before the Steelers entered the league in 1933; the Packers won three. The Steelers didn't even make the playoffs until 1947, and they didn't win the first of their six championships until they beat the
in Super Bowl IX in 1974.