First and foremost, before this piece is open to discussion, i would like to say (or to write, for that matter) that i am absolutely sold on Kyle Orton as the bears starter heading into next year. I think the best option at quarterback is one who can compose himself after making poor decisions and give his team a shot to win (as was witnessed in the New Orleans and Green Bay games). The absolute worst option at this position would be a quarterback that snowballs a game away, much like a certain QB did in a certain game the bears played two years ago yesterday.
However, general manager Jerry Angelo insist that the position must be stabilized. So while we patiently wait for free agency/draft i have developed a list (oh yes! we all love loser elitist lists!) to whet your appetite. WARNING: This List Does Not Contain Anyone Who's Last Name Begins With Warner, McNabb, Leftwitch, Boller, or Sanchez...
Matt Hasselbeck: 6'4" 10 year veteran Seattle Seahawks
for some odd reason, i keep hearing increasing rumors that Hasselbeck could wind up on the trading block. A bold move indeed for the Jim Mora regime if in fact they do ship off one of the most underrated signal callers in the game. Number 8 has been dealing with poor play spurred by injuries as of late. those combined with the fact he's getting up in age may be the deciding factor for Seahawks GM Tim Ruskell to unload him for a day one draft pick. The Bears can even consider packaging some linemen such as John Tait and Dan Buenning. That could be enticing for a Seattle team who will undoubtedly be looking to fix their offensive line woes (which may even be worse than Chicago's line). But even if the Bears can bring Hasselbeck it still might be just a step to the side instead of a step up if injuries are still a problem. if healthy however, he could revert back to pro bowl form. Hasselbeck has never had top tier receivers, so he'd feel right at home in Chicago. Another option at QB happens to be on this team as well...
Seneca Wallace: 5'11" 6 Year pro Seattle Seahawks
- Another reason for the swirling Hasselbeck trade rumors is because the solid play of six year backup seneca wallace. Wallace started 8 games last season and tossed eleven TDs to three interceptions on an offense with banged up receivers, a porus O-line and an inconsistant running game . for years, i've been telling anybody who was willing to listen that seneca is a poor man's McNabb. He is a thorough pocket passer, but has legs to evade defenders or to gain some groundage (my slackers term for yards on ground). Seneca can be a starter in the NFL, he proved that against New England in week 14. his stats that game: 20 for 28 (71.4 percent) 212 yards 3 touchdowns, no picks and a 128.9 rating. the knocks against him is his height and weak arm (those were the same problems Drew Brees had. DAMN!!). He also had minor injury problems in 2008. If the 'hawks stay committed to Hasselbeck, i could see the same package mentioned above being used to pursue Wallace.
Colt Brennan: 6'2" rookie Washington Redskins
Those who saw Colt Brennan play in the preseason raise your hands. Those who didn't like what they saw from him, put your hands down... Colt took criticism last year for being a system quarterback in a school(Hawaii) in a conference(the WAC) with little or no competition(the last two were said about Matt Forte... they might be on to something). After a complete year of NFL experience, I expect Colt to be ready to compete for a starter position. The only problem is that not going to happen on a Redskins team that has Jason Campbell firmly in place. that's where the bears can swoop in with a devil of a deal. Brennan was selected in the sixth round and signed a four year deal worth roughly $1.8 million. I doubt the 'skins would be willing to let him go by swapping a late round pick, but maybe offering aging adewale ogunleye to reunite with Jason Taylor. Nathan Vasher is also a possibility. The Bears might even be able to pry a draft pick from washington as well.
Troy Smith: 6'0" 2 year pro Baltimore Ravens
Troy Smith, the former Heisman award winner from Ohio State, is an enigma and a huge risk as well. He is supposed to be a career backup, but garnered enough admiration and respect from his teammates that they lobbied for him to be starter the beginning of this season. Out of all the quarterbacks who haven't been a steady starter on this list, I think Troy is the one who might not be ready to step in. Could be wrong though, just like I could be wrong about about the other guys on this list. He may need some more seasoning since he's always been primarily a running Quarterback. Then again, in limited action the past two seasons, he's yet to throw an interception. his trade value would probably be the least of this list because he's backing up a growing Joe Flacco
Other interesting options:
David Carr: 6'3" 7 year pro New York Giants(UFA)- Former number one pick who Never had a chance to play behind a good line. looked good playing against a Hungry vikings team. I feel as his NFL experience increases, the dumb decisions will decrease.
Alex Smith: 6'4" 4 year pro San Francisco 49ers- Another former number one, things haven't turned out well for him in the city by the bay. He was only 20 when drafted; way too young to try to mold an elite QB out of, but the jury's still out on him. a change of scenery could do the trick(however, playing in front of a Chicago media/fanbase might not be such a good idea)
Shaun Hill: 6'3" 7 year pro San Francisco 49ers- I was sitting in a bar after finding out that Mike Nolan got the ax in San Fran. When I told my bartender, who is a hardcore Niners fan(living in Florida, go figure) he shook his head and said, " If Shaun Hill was on that damn field from day one, we'd be winning the west and he'd still have a job." My bartender like I, noticed how well shaun hill played towards the end of the 2007 season. Obviously, Nolan and Martz thought a guy who was a backup in detroit would be the answer. Hill is a tough as nails leader who's also a savvy veteran. Unfortunately, this might be Mike Singletary's man heading into next season.
Matt Moore:6'3" 2 year Pro Carolina Panthers- Played well down the stretch in 2007. Had a solid preseason in 2008 not at starter level but still better competition than Brett Basanez