NFC West: Bobby Mitchell

Fritz Pollard Alliance honors Bidwill

February, 25, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS -- Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill is raking in the awards this offseason.

Earlier in the week, Sports Faith International made him one of four inductees to the Sports Faith Hall of Fame, joining Brian Piccolo, Gale Sayers, Dominoes Pizza founder and former Detroit Tigers owner Tom Monaghan and John Gagliardi, college football's all-time leader in coaching victories.

Bidwill was named Thursday as winner of the Fritz Pollard Alliance's Paul "Tank" Younger Award for promoting "diversity and equality of job opportunity in the coaching, front office and scouting staffs" of NFL teams.

Past winners include Dan Rooney, Rick Smith, Ozzie Newsome, James Harris, Bill Walsh, Tony Dungy, Frank Gilliam and Bobby Mitchell.

"When you look back over the years, going back to his time in St. Louis, Mr. Bidwill has a long history of hiring minorities to administrative and authoritative positions," Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten said in a news release. "He has really helped level the playing field and that is what this award is all about."

The Fritz Pollard Alliance plans to present the award to Bidwill at the NFL combine Friday.

Posted by's Mike Sando

Now we know why the 49ers weren't knee deep in the trade talk for Jay Cutler. They apparently wanted to experience meaningful participation in the next two drafts.

Quarterbacks are important, no question, and the 49ers haven't had a dynamic one for too long. But the price Chicago paid for Cutler -- 2009 first- and third-round choices, plus a 2010 first-round choice and quarterback Kyle Orton -- carries serious sticker shock. The Bears also picked up the 2009 fifth-round choice Seattle had sent to Denver in the Keary Colbert trade, but that qualifies as a minor throw-in.

Assuming the 49ers had the option, would they have been wise to pay that kind of ransom for Cutler? The Broncos acquired the 18th and 84th overall choices in the 2009 draft as part of the deal. Joe Flacco was the 18th player chosen in 2008. Art Monk was the 18th overall choice in 1980. Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell was the 84th player chosen -- in 1958.

Most of the players chosen in those spots don't jump out as perennial Pro Bowl types. The Bears also went into the deal with an edge. They had picked up a third-round compensatory selection, 99th overall, so they felt better about trading No. 84.

The 49ers hold the 10th, 43rd and 74th choices in the first three rounds this year. Those choices are considerably more valuable than the ones Chicago had to offer.