A month ago, I wrote a post “let me make one thing perfectly clear,” with my opinion that I am not interested in the Bears pursuing quarterbacks Derrick Anderson or Donovan McNabb. Too many other things to fix.
The same thing goes for the receiver position, but I have even stronger opinions on that subject. Since I’ve had two long conversations with co-workers and friends on this recently, I figured I better just make the opinions public.
As we all know, former Chicago Bears third-round pick and the first Pro Bowl Bear receiver since Dick Gordon in 1970, Marty Booker, was released by the Miami Dolphins this week. Booker signed a lucrative contract extension with the Bears in 2002 and was traded to Miami during the 2004 preseason as part of a package for DE Adawale Ogunelye. My first thought, of course, was of investigating bringing Booker back, and apparently he’d like that.
Someone I know made the argument “that’s another hogwash move by Jerry Angelo, he’s going to do this and not make an effort to resign Bernard Berrian.” Berrian is perhaps the hottest receiver on the unrestricted free agent market this year, and could command more than $5 million per season from a desperate team with a large part of that package guaranteed.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have Berrian back, and losing him will put a dent in an already historically woeful offense that is attempting to rebuild.
But frankly in 2008, unless the Bears can magically rebuild their line, fix 60 years of quarterback incompetence and invent a running game, I don’t care if a wacked-out Britney Spears is playing receiver for the Bears. My opinion on fixing the offense remains:
1. Fix the line by acquiring at least one competent tackle and one competent guard, preferably young and not the 32+ year olds Angelo has been signing during his tenure.
2. Fix the running game by either signing or drafting someone. But #2 isn’t possible without addressing #1.
3. Figure out what to do at quarterback. Will Rex Grossman resign on a marginal deal? Should we go with Kyle Orton and groom a rookie until we’re sure 1 & 2 are addressed?
4. THEN spend money on a receiver.
My mantra is the following: a great quarterback or the combination of a competent quarterback and a great running game can make an average receiver look great (see any receiver that has played with Brett Favre. Other than Sterling Sharpe from 1992-1994, they’ve all been mediocre). But NEVER does a great receiver make a poor quarterback and running game look good (see Randy Moss in Oakland).
No way do I invest $5-$8 million in Berrian with the other parts of the offense still in shambles. No way. We can start Devin Hester and Porky Pig for all I care, until the line, quarterback and running game is addressed.