Will the Chicago Bears draft a quarterback later this month? Should they? That question was among the most interesting I got in Tuesday's SportsNation chat. It has multiple angles, and one in particular interests me. Here is the relevant exchange:
What's the earliest you could see the Bears drafting a QB as insurance for 2014 in case Cutler doesn't pan out this year?
Kevin Seifert (2:39 PM)
That's a good question, and not just to protect themselves if Cutler doesn't pan out. For most of the time I've spent doing this blog, the Bears have had to go out every year and find a backup quarterback. You can draft a quarterback you intend to use as a backup, too, as the Packers did with Flynn and the Redskins did with Kirk Cousins.
Based on reports of this weak quarterback class, the Bears would have to use a first- or possibly second-round pick on a quarterback to secure a player who could possibly replace Jay Cutler in 2014. You never rule anything out, but it would be an obvious and clumsy hedge against coach Marc Trestman's attempts to elevate Cutler to an elite level.
The more likely scenario, however, is drafting a developmental quarterback who projects as a longer-term backup to Cutler. If Trestman is as good with quarterbacks as advertised, the Bears would be missing an opportunity if they didn't put him to work developing them. Perhaps Trestman could build him up into a starter. But in a best-case scenario, Cutler excels in 2013, signs a rich contract extension, and in a few years the Bears trade the backup for a high draft choice. Just a thought.
Related: In a column for ESPNChicago.com, Scoop Jackson wonders if Cutler is ready to be the face of the Bears' franchise. Jackson: "Jay Cutler will be the first and last voice of consequence when it comes to gathering information, dissecting information and coming to conclusions pertaining to every Bears win and loss. He is the singular voice and image attached to how this team (and franchise) will nationally be judged and identified. (Locally, by nature, we'll spread that wealth.) Kinda scary, ain't it?"