Have any of you ever been to an auction, or got into one online? There is a reason Ebay is popular. "It's better when you win it." was their slogan on some TV ads a couple years back. What happens in an auction for something you want, is that the price starts out at nothing - or close to it. In this case for the Lions, it started out at #33 for Cassel and swap him to Denver for one more pick, and get a lower one in return.
But, what happens as the deal making time gets closer, and more people get involved? It becomes more about winning than cost. What started out as buying for need at a reasonable price, turns into need to beat the other guy or I "lost". Denver wanted that to happen, and when Dan Snyder jumped into the fray, I knew the Lions should be jumping out.
I saw one article indicating that Jerry Angelo looked "stunned". He should be -- wait til he looks at his draft board, and needs, and then goes "what have I done!" like a guy coming off a bender looking at the divorce attorney's bill, his little studio apartment and his empty bank account.
Don't get me wrong -- this deal was all wrong for the Lions and a Vegas-Style roll of the dice for Da Bears.
I had a friend back in 2004 who was just settling into a new position. If all went well, he would be moving on to a new position -- out of state -- in about 3 years or so. The company didn't have moving incentives, so he considered selling his house and renting a condo for a few years. Instead, he took out an interest only mortgage on his house that would go for 5 years at which point his payments would go way up. Not only that, but anticipating his higher income in advance, and wanting to upgrade his lifestyle now, he took out as much cash as they would let him and used it to "live tomorrow today."
Come last year, he finally got his promotion... had the markets held out, and kept rising like they were, he would have been in a great position to sell his house for a profit after only making interest payments the last 4 years. They didn't. He can't sell, and is stuck with huge payments, and a house he can't do anything with -- making him cut back to a pretty severe lifestyle despite his increased pay. And to top it all off, he can't even unload the house because he doesn't have enough money saved, and if he does manage to take the loss it can't affect his credit as losing his house would put his job in jeopardy. He gambled, and lost.
Jerry Angelo is making the same kind of gamble with the Bears. He traded two firsts, a third, and his starting QB, for Cutler. (I know they got a 5th in return, but 5th rounders are projects - early 3rds are supposed to be starters. Big difference.) Same day, he signed Orlando Pace to a 3 year deal and hopes he has some left in the tank.
Chicago's defense is aging, but their lack of offense cost them the Superbowl in 2006, and has kept them down since. Angelo is gambling that with adding Cutler to Greg Olson, Matt Forte, Devin Hester, and the 2nd round WR they may take this year, his offense will be potent enough to offset the decline in the Bears D and get them to a Superbowl Run. If the Defense (the housing market) holds on for a couple more years, then the Bears have a legitimate chance to make a run now. If it doesn't hold up, well... there isn't a lot they can do to help it for 2009 or 2010.
The other gamble is Cutler didn't sign a new contract, and that conversation will be coming very soon to the normally tight-fisted Bears. If they don't budge on a new deal (and most likely making him the highest paid QB) it could really be a 3 year interest only loan...
For a team in Chicago's position, I think it was a good gamble for them to take -- and Bears fans I've talked with are excited about the acquisition and possibility it brings.
Question: Did Detroit "lose out"? Answer: No. We talked about whether or not you needed that special knife to QB your kitchen...and this deal went beyond Ginsu to Diamond Encrusted Collector's Edition territory. For a team on the edge of a Superbowl Run who just needs the QB -- Great move. For a team that needs about 15 starters to get to a playoff level...not so much.
Mayhew did the right thing by not doing anything in this instance. The team I think "lost out?"
The Minnesota Vikings. If any team could be said to be one QB away from the Superbowl, it is Minnesota. They have a solid defense. They have a monster running game. They have a terrific O-Line. They have a solid, if unspectacular WR corps/pass catching TE. What they don't have? A QB who can open up the box for Adrian Peterson.
Would you be able to play 8 - 9 in the box to stop Peterson when Cutler is shooting laser guided bombs to Bernard Berrian or Sidney Rice streaking down the sidelines? No. It would have been back to the big scoring offenses of the late 90's for Minnesota, paired with an actual defense.
They are in a win-now need a QB position, and if anyone was to give up 2 firsts and maybe even a 2nd and a 3rd next year -- it would have been Minnesota.
Lions Fans -- we need volume of quality players first, not one pro-bowler. This is a 3-4 year rebuild due to a total lack of talent and depth up and down the roster. As a fan of the Lions I am happy we didn't give up 5 starters (4 early picks and a starter off the roster -- we would have had to beat Chicago's deal, not tie it) to get one --- even if it was a QB.
As a Vikings fan? Well, lets just say if my name were their coach and/or GM I would be praying like mad Sage Rosenfels or T-Jack work out. Because after passing on Cutler, if they don't, they should be looking for work.
If you didn't read all 20+ comments on last story, please go back and do so. Some great stuff in there!! Including my vote for the Lions' first two picks:
- 1st (#1 overall) - Aaron Curry MLB Wake Forest
- 1st - (#20 overall) Evander Hood DT Missouri