Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 2/12/12
There is no doubt that Jay Cutler is the best quarterback the Chicago Bears have had for a long time. And he is firmly in place as the number one passer in the windy city. Under new offensive coordinator Mike Tice, and reunited with his quarterback coach from his time in Denver, Jeremy Bates, Cutler looks set to have a great season.
 
But what if the Bears face the same problem that plagued their last campaign? What if Cutler gets injured? The Caleb Hanie project didn't quite go according to plan, and Josh McCown hardly lit up the scoreboard. So should the Bears be looking to the free agent market to find a backup for Cutler? And if so, who should be in their sights?

1. Kyle Orton - The former Bear would love to return to the team that drafted him in 2005. In his rookie year he replaced the injured Rex Grossman, leading the Bears to 10 victories en route to the Super bowl. After a couple more seasons in Chicago, he was eventually traded to the Denver Broncos as part of the Jay Cutler deal.
Orton is now much more experienced then he was during his time with the Bears. He has matured as a passer, and his strong arm has never been a secret. He may not be the most athletic passer in the league, but he can make a few things happen with his feet when he needs to.
He would be a solid backup to Cutler, bringing in leadership qualities that would serve the team well. His familiarity with head coach Lovie Smith would be a bonus, and he has spoken favorably in the past about a possible return to Chicago. 

2. Chad Henne - Part of me has a feeling that if Peyton Manning does cut all ties with the Colts, Miami could be one of the teams in contention to sign him up. Many people feel that Henne's time is up as the QB for the Dolphins, and at only 26 years of age, he still has a lot of football to play. He is a competent passer, that can make all the throws necessary to be a successful quarterback. Like Orton, his athleticism is not up to the same standard as say a Michael Vick, but he can move enough to get rid of the ball.
He played just 4 games last year before suffering a shoulder injury that saw him placed on injured reserve.
It is clear that he has fallen out of favor with the fans in Miami, and it is more than likely, he'll be playing for another team this coming season. Chicago could do worse than considering Henne as a viable option to backup Cutler.

3. Jason Campbell - The season was going well for Campbell, and he had the Oakland Raiders at 4-2 before injury put paid to that. This lead to the team bringing in Carson Palmer and finishing the season 8-8. 
Campbell could have plenty of teams looking to acquire his services this coming year. 
He is more agile than Orton and Henne, and has above average speed. His arm strength is good, and also displays decent accuracy. 
Like most free agent quarterbacks, I am sure Campbell would be looking to compete for a starting job, and not just be deployed as a backup, but he could make a difference in Chicago, if called upon. 

I would be surprised if Chicago didn't bring a free agent in to backup Jay Cutler. If all goes well, they won't have to rely on that guy standing on the sideline, but if injury strikes again, they need someone that can step in and lead the team to victory, which is something they were most definitely in need of last season.

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