Long week of football. Here's our promised Q&A for Friday.
Q: I finally saw that someone asked Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo about the Jay Cutler situation. To my knowledge, they did not go into it, saying basically, "We can't talk about that, he is a Bronco." They could have said "We aren't interested, we like Kyle,", but they didn't. To me, that spoke volumes because that is their typical response. So what do you think their silence said, if anything?
Jim T., Charleston, Ill.
A: I think the silence was loud and clear--the Bears cannot talk about Cutler because he is under contract to Denver. If they were to start talking about him, that could constitute tampering and we saw what happens with tampering last spring when the San Francisco 49ers got slapped on the wrist to the benefit of the Bears. The Bears are not in a position to say they are or are not interested in Cutler, and they're going to follow the code that most do with that too. The last thing the Bears want is someone talking about their players, etc. I've said it more than once, if Cutler becomes available on the open market--and that has not happened--I don't expect the Bears to be involved. I've been wrong before. I'll be wrong again. That's just my take. I'm not saying the Bears should not make a play for Cutler, I'm saying I don't think they will make a move. The Denver Post reports that 10 teams have inquired. We'll see how this plays out.
Q: In normal cases like the one with Jay Cutler, the longer it drags out, and the more "displeasure" is voiced publicly by the player, the lower the asking price goes. Steve McNair is an example of this a couple of years ago. McNair was an older player nearing the end of his career, and understandably, Cutler is a Pro Bowl quarterback who is still entering his prime years, but if they can't get something sorted out as we get closer to the draft, does the price go down to where the Broncos are willing to take a lesser package than the two first round picks, or the 1st and 3rd that we have been hearing? McNair ended up going for a 5th if I recall, and Favre ended up only costing New York a third rounder this past season. Just curious as to what you think in this particular case.
Joe F., Parts Unknown
A: First, I don't think there are "normal cases" of a quarterback reaching a Pro Bowl in his third season and then demanding a trade. Second, I don't think you can draw any parallels to McNair being traded at 33 and after 11 seasons in Tennessee with Cutler at all. As you pointed out, McNair was on his last legs and has dealt with a series of injuries with the Titans. Cutler is an up-and-coming quarterback and a debate can rage all night over whether or not he is a franchise quarterback. At that point in his career, McNair was decidedly not a franchise quarterback. I can assure you if Cutler goes on the market, it will be for a ransom, a king's ransom. Denver isn't going to put him on the clearance rack no matter what he or his agent Bus Cook say.
Q: Maybe this is why they have you and the rest of the reporters ``a field away'' during these workouts. At about the 1:12 mark, there clearly is a hit from Craig Steltz on Devin Hester.
Eric B., Parts Unknown
A: I saw this on a post on profootballtalk.com Thursday night. It wasn't the only contact in three days of practice. Linemen held. Defensive backs and receivers came together on numerous occasions. Steltz was involved in some other collisions. New safety Josh Bullocks was involved in some run-ins. Sure, it's not supposed to happen. I don't know how you put 60-some football players on the field and don't have some contact. Following the CBA by the letter, though, there should be no contact.
Q: Any chances you could give us an update on Chris Williams' development in the weight room? Coming out of college his reputation was a bit soft and pudgy. Has six months in an NFL weight room shown up in a visibly more chiseled body?
Phil B., Parts Unknown
A: I would say Williams does look a little stronger but I had an interesting chat about a week-and-a-half ago with a scout. We were talking about Andre Smith's pro day at Alabama. There were very mixed reports on how Smith performed and he put up only 19 reps in the bench press, which is two more than Williams did last year. I suggested that wasn't a real good sign and the scout wasn't concerned about it. He said tackles need to be strong in the "[butt]," that is where the power needs to come from. It does look like Williams is a little more defined, and I don't know if you're ever going to find many linemen who are "chiseled." Nobody is seeking Tony Mandarich here. Williams said he's been working out at Halas Hall four or five days a week for about the last six weeks.
Thank you for all of the participation and questions. As always, thanks for reading. Our next Q&A will be Monday. Get your questions in soon.