Bye JerBear. It’s been…um…real. I heard the hosts talking about what was his worst move as GM of the Bears. There’s several to pick from, but I have to agree with one of the hosts that the Thomas Jones trade was brutal. If you don’t recall the deal; the Bears sent Jones and their 2nd round pick (63rd overall) to the Jets for their 2nd rounder (37th overall). Jones was a wildly popular guy in the locker room and, to anyone with functioning eyes, was clearly a better player than Cedric Benson – whom the Bears had drafted 4th overall in 2005 (more on this in a second). Benson, being a high draft pick and all, apparently needed to be the starting back, thus Jones was expendable. Ugh.
Now before we savage Mr. Angelo for that deal, let’s look at who the draft picks became:
The Bears traded the pick from the Jets to San Diego picking up their 2nd rounder (62nd overall) and 3rd rounder (93rd overall). The picks became:
37th pick (Chargers): Eric Weddle, Safety
62nd pick (Bears): Dan Bazuin, Defensive End
63rd pick (Packers from Jets): Brandon Jackson, Running Back
93rd pick (Bears): Garrett Wolfe, Running Back
Certainly none of those are great players, but you turned a pro bowl running back in his prime in to Dan Bazuin – who as near as I can tell never actually played a minute for the Bears, and Garrett Wolfe – who was a special teams guy before being released before this season.
Good haul there. Why I think that’s arguably his biggest bust is because of how Angelo took away a darn good player/locker room guy to hand a job to a guy that wasn’t good and wasn’t liked by his teammates, and then blew the draft picks he got back for him.
However his other Benson related move might be his worst. Jerry Angelo never should have drafted him in the first place. Entering the 2005 draft the Bears, as they did for my entire life until they traded for Cutler, needed a quarterback. They had the 4th pick in the draft and had a pretty good running back in Thomas Jones. They had limped to a 5-11 record literally after injuries to Brian Urlacher and starting quarterback Rex Grossman. Look, to this point Grossman had been injured so much we didn’t know what we had in him, but when your guy is an injury risk like that, maybe you need to start looking for someone else.
Alex Smith went to the 49ers first overall, so you probably think the 2005 draft was QB weak, and for the most part it was. Look it up on Wikipedia though and scroll to number 20. Yes, that would be Aaron Rodgers going to Green Bay. The same Aaron Rodgers who is (arguably) the best QB in the league right now. The Bears could have had him. I love Jay Cutler, but I mean c’mon.
Bottom line is that Jerry Angelo demonstrated a spectacular inability to evaluate talent in the draft. You simply can’t miss in the first two rounds as often as he did and that’s why he had to go.
Seriously. Cedric Benson sucked.