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I don't know about you, but I can think of nothing better to do on a Friday morning than look at division-wide reaction to the Jay Cutler trade. With the NFC North still reverberating by Chicago's stunning acquisition, let's let 'er rip:
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune puts it all in perspective: "Thursday marked the most exciting, significant day for the Bears since Super Bowl XLI. A 25-year-old Pro Bowl quarterback and a future Hall of Fame left tackle [Orlando Pace] in the same day? Welcome back to NFL relevancy, Chicago."
The Tribune's Rick Morrissey, on the other hand, isn't a big fan of the deal: "If Jay Cutler doesn't raise red flags, Bears fans, you are color blind. From all appearances and indications, he has the maturity level of larva."
Dan Pompei of the Tribune doesn't disagree with the move but notes the Bears must focus on "alternative forms" of player acquisition after the loss of three high draft choices. Pompei: "If draft picks indeed are the lifeblood of a team, the Bears will need to be on the lookout for warning signs of anemia."
This deal will seal the legacy of Bears general manager Jerry Angelo one way or the other, writes Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN.com. Wojciechowski: "You have to give Angelo credit for taking the plunge with Cutler. It was more than bold move; it was a move that will end up in the first or second paragraph of his obituary."
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times comes up with the most interesting sidelight of the deal. Cutler's father, Jack, has had some not-so-nice things to say about Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner in recent years. According to multiple stories, Turner rescinded a scholarship offer to Cutler when he was the head coach at Illinois, forcing Cutler to scramble for a school. Jack Cutler called the move "dirty."
Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press calls the trade "typical Lions fate." Sharp: "Jay Cutler goes to Chicago. He's now guaranteed another Pro Bowl season because he'll face the Lions twice a season."
John Niyo of the Detroit News is at peace with the outcome for the Lions: "Mortgaging the future -- even for a 25-year-old potential star quarterback -- doesn't make sense when the future's all you've got."
The tide has turned in Green Bay, writes Greg A. Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "The Bears, who trotted out 21 starting quarterbacks in the 16 years Brett Favre led the Green Bay Packers, now have the most talented and established quarterback in the division." (Paging Aaron Rodgers.)
Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune faults Vikings coach Brad Childress for choosing Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels over Cutler: "When it comes to quarterbacks, Childress has trouble telling the difference between Spam and Honey Baked Ham."
Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press quotes Vikings radio analyst Pete Bercich: "[The division] a toss-up right now, after putting him in there. But I think it's us by a nose. The Bears still have some serious holes to fill on defense. Brian Urlacher is becoming a liability. At the end of the year, if you watch him, he couldn't move as well, and he's lost a step. And they have critical deficiencies at safety."