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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Judge Cutler deal with your head, not heart



Don't know about you, but I've had up to here with Jay Cutler.

This was one of those stories you just wished would go away because of the constant sniping back and forth from both sides. It was all pretty juvenile if you ask me.

But, alas, it's over. Cutler's on his way to Chicago to join a Bears team that has had about as many franchise quarterbacks as the Bucs (i.e., not many).

We can debate forever whether the Bucs made the right choice in not pressing harder to get this deal done, but when trying to answer that question, ask yourself this first:

What if it didn't work?

Are you willing to part with two first-round picks, a third-round pick and a quarterback for a shot at Jay Cutler? Make that Jay Cutler without play-caller Mike Shanahan and receiver Brandon Marshall? There's no guarantee Cutler would have enjoyed the same success here as he did in Denver, though he's a very good quarterback in my view.

But if Cutler doesn't immediately make your team a contender -- not just a playoff team, mind you -- making this sort of trade has to be considered a failure. If you give up that much, it better result in your team making a serious playoff run. Otherwise, you've hamstrung yourself for years to come by yielding those draft picks.

It seems GM Mark Dominik and coach Raheem Morris weren't prepared to put that sort of unenviable pressure on themselves, and who can blame them? If the Bucs had made this deal -- and that's assuming they even had the opportunity -- the new regime would have been judged solely by the trade's success or failure. Just ask Bruce Allen: He'll forever be the guy who acquired Charlie Garner, Todd Steussie and Derrick Deese -- in the same year.

My advice is to judge this trade with your head and not with your heart. This was an incredibly high price to pay for any player at any position, no matter how good you think Cutler would have looked in pewter. That's not to suggest it won't work out for the Bears. But this was by no means a no-brainer for the Bucs.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:30pm]


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