BOURBONNAIS, Ill.--The Bears' rare trade for a Pro Bowl quarterback in Jay Cutler came together when an unusual set of circumstances happened very quickly.
Namely, the Kansas City Chiefs with former New England front office man Scott Pioli beat the Denver Broncos with former New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel.
McDaniels badly wanted to bring Cassel with him to the Mile High City to run his new playbook. When he failed in his trade efforts and Cassel landed with Pioli and former Bears wide receivers coach Todd Haley in Kansas City, things disintegrated quickly with Cutler. Haley and the rest of the coaches in the AFC West just sat back and enjoyed the theater of the disgruntled as McJaygate, what they called the plot in Denver, unfolded over the course of five weeks.
Haley, speaking to me last week for an article in the National Football Post, knew how long the Bears' search for a quarterback lasted. He's willing to take an assist on the Bears' landing Cutler.
"Yeah, I'll take partial credit,'' Haley said of the Bears' once-in-a-generation trade to acquire a Pro Bowl quarterback in his mid-20s. "I pushed hard for Cassel. I didn't know him up close and personal, but I think he has a chance to be good.''