The Bears are one of the most storied franchises in the NFL, but the days of Ditka are long gone. The last decade or so has been pretty tough for Chicago faithful. Thankfully I’m here to remind them how big they’ve screwed up!
I could have picked one of the multiple offensive tackles Chicago has whiffed on over the years, but those wouldn’t have cut to the core quite like this one.
The pick is Cedric Benson, tailback out of the University of Texas who the Bears took 4th overall in 2005. He was a highly decorated player who was sure to provide them with a devastating run game. Instead he held out due to contract disputes, missed the whole preseason, and then served as the backup to Thomas Jones for all of 2005. Benson was then injured by Brian Urlacher causing him to miss more time and relegating him to yet another season as Jones’ backup during 2006.
Benson was finally named the starter for the 2007 season after Jones was traded to the Jets, playing decently until suffering a season ending ankle injury. During the off-season the Bears were rumored to be interested in adding another running back, Benson then had two alcohol related arrests and was released. He never amassed 700 yards rushing in a season during his Bears career.
Benson was then picked up by the Bengals where he gained over 700 yards in his first season with them. He then posted 3 straight 1,000+ yard seasons. Not only did they miss out on his most productive seasons, they missed out on some serious impact players.
When Chicago selected Benson the following players were still available; Pac-Man Jones, Antrel Rolle, DeMarcus Ware, Shawne Merriman, Thomas Davis, Derrick Johnson, Roddy White and Logan Mankins. Can you imagine Urlacher paired with any of those linebackers? Talk about an old school Bears defense.
But there was one other player still on the board, one that deserves his own paragraph. He’s arguably one of the best players ever at his position, and he absolutely wreaks havoc on the Bears twice a season. That player is none other than Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. Talk about shitting the bed, the Bears have been looking for their answer at QB for years all while being reminded of what they could have had. Sheesh!