ATLANTA – Bears GM Jerry Angelo isn’t worried or unforgiving about trading away all of his 2010 first-day draft picks (and a third-rounder) for Jay Cutler, and, as of Friday, defensive end Gaines Adams.
Cutler, we know about. Getting a proven franchise quarterback for first- and third-rounders this offseason was a deal just about any team in the NFL in need of a long-term signal-caller would have made. The decision to give up a second-rounder to Tampa Bay for Adams, the fourth-overall pick in 2007 who has 13.5 career sacks -– one this season for floundering Tampa Bay — was viewed as a gamble to most but not to Angelo and members of the Bears’ front office.
Angelo explained the move before Sunday night’s game with the Falcons by saying it was just as much of a business decision as it was a move to upgrade the roster. Adams will earn just under $4 million over the next four seasons based off the rookie deal he signed with the Buccaneers. Based on what it would cost the Bears to pay a second-round pick next season, the deal, Angelo said, was financially a wash.
In terms of talent and production, who knows? After consulting with his pro and collegiate personnel people, Angelo said Adams probably was the best option for a young, athletic defensive end compared to draft projections for 2010 second-round talent and in the free-agent pool next season for the financial value.
The interesting thing was that Angelo said the Bears didn’t necessarily need another defensive end –- Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye are the starters — but adding pass rushers is part of his philosophy. Adams was inactive vs. the Falcons, but he will begin to be incorporated as a pass-rush specialist starting next week. He also will play exclusively on the right side. In Tampa Bay, he was used at both end positions.
The real payoff on Adams, Angelo said, won’t be how he is used or the new scheme he will play in.
“He has to decide if he wants to be good,” Angelo said.