The final phase of a GM's job is free agent and trade acquisitions. So today we'll review year by year some of Angelo's biggest signings and trades, and the grade I assign each transaction, and each year.
Ted Washington DT- A. Ted Washington was crucial to the defense during their 2001 run, and was a key defensive player in Gregg Blache's scheme
Keith Traylor DT-B+. Not exactly as good as Ted, but a very serviceable starter for several years.
Fred Baxter TE-C. Baxter put up forgettable numbers (27 rec, 199 yds, 2 tds) in 19 games as a Bear. Avoids a lower grade due to forcing the Bears to move him after criticizing John Shoop.
Larry Whigham DB-D. A former Pro Bowler with the Patriots, Whigham played sparingly and never recorded an interception as a Bear.
Danny Wuerffel QB-A. The guy gives up football and becomes a preacher, then a hurricane destroys his home. This is pure sympathy. 3rd stringer for one year who never played a down. Took Cade McNown's roster spot, and thus the A.
Alfonso Boone DT-B. Though never spectacular, Boone was a pretty solid backup defensive tackle in 6 seasons as a Bear.
Trades- Traded QB Cade McNown to the Dolphins for a 6th round pick. A+++
Overall Grade for 2001: B
Chris Chandler QB- D. Signed to back up the inconsistent and fragile Jim Miller, Chris Chandler could never A) stay healthy or B) play well.
Henry Burris QB- F. An interesting project had he not been forced to, you know, play. Sucked horribly when he did. Dropped after one year.
Overall Grade for 2002: D-
Kordell Stewart QB-D. Inconsistent at best, fucking awful at worst, Kordell was one of the biggest in a long line of flops in the attempt to address the QB conundrum through free agency.
Desmond Clark TE-A. Tragically underutilized in his first three years in Chicago, Desmond has been an absolute stud for Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton, and pairs with Greg Olsen for one of the best tight end grops in the NFL.
Overall Grade for 2003: C+
Jonathan Quinn QB-F. Oh God. Just Awful.
Thomas Jones RB-A. The only bad thing about this signing was letting the man go. Forte eases some of the pain though.
Qasim Mitchell T- D-. Played the most important position on a line that gave up a Bears record 66 sacks.
Jeff George QB- C. Simply a desperation move, never saw the field.
John Tait T-A. Has been solid at either tackle position since joining the Bears.
Ruben Brown G- B. Hurt for much of 2004, gave the Bears a solid 2005 and 2006 before crapping out in 2007.
Hunter Hillenmeyer LB- A. We constantly look for his replacement, and yet he's been a solid starter for almost five seasons.
Chad Hutchinson QB-C. Its not like we had too many options.
Traded Marty Booker to Dolphins for Adewale Ogunleye- A. Wally's been pretty solid and Marty's back, so win-win.
Traded 6th round pick for FB Bryan Johnson- C. The guy could never stay healthy. Ever.
2004 Overall Grade: C+
Muhsin Muhammed, WR- B-. Never really was worth the big contract and his hands were a lot more suspect in Chicago than they were in Carolina
Fred Miller, T-B. Like Ruben Brown, provided a solid 2005 and 2006 before crapping out last year.
Roberto Garza, G- B+. Consistently effective starter at guard.
Brandon McGowan S- B. Played fairly well at times for a guy from whom nothing was expected.
Marc Edwards, FB- B. Solid stand in during one of Bryan Johnson's many injuries.
Robbie Gould, K- A. Fantastic kicker. Period.
Jeff Blake, QB- B. Played pretty well in his only appearance.
John St. Clair, T- B+. Has been a big part of the offensive line's surprising resurgence this year.
Trades- Traded 7th round pick to Dolphins for LB Brendon Ayanbadejo. B.
Overall Grade for 2005: B+
Ricky Manning, Jr. CB- C+. Was pretty effective during the 06 run, but disappeared last year.
Brian Griese QB- C-. In a way was almost as responsible for this wesbite as was Kyle Orton. Just not in a good way.
Dante Wesley CB- C. Not much of a contributor outside of special teams.
2006 Overall Grade: C
Anthony Adams DT- B. Not soo shabby backup/substitute.
Traded Chris Harris to Carolina for 5th round pick-D.
Traded 6th round pick to Washington for Adam Archuleta, S-D.
Traded Thomas Jones to Jets for switch of 2nd round picks-D.
Traded conditional pick for Darwin Walker, DT-D.
Overall Grade for 2007: D+.
Brandon Lloyd WR- B. Can turn this into an A if he Ever gets back from his injury and resumes production.
Marty Booker WR- B. Has been a solid veteran leader on this team and has made some great plays this year.
Overall Grade for 2008: B.
Jerry's Overall Grade (2001-2008) on Free Agents and Trades: C+
So overall his Win-Loss record merits a B, his draft picks a B+, and his Free Agents and Trades a C+ for a B average. Comprehensive evaluation gives Jerry Angelo a passing grade with room for improvement, though one variable which must be taken into account is the horrendous state of the organization he inherited, which in the eight years before his arrival (1993-2000) had effectively bankrupted the team's talent through mismanagement on the part of Dave Wannstedt, Mark Hatley, and Michael McCaskey. During that time the team went 51-77 and made such horrible first round choices as John Thierry, Rashaan Salaam, trading a first round pick for Rick Mirer, Curtis Enis, and Cade McNown. So overall Jerry's resuscitation of the franchise (as well as the fact that I now know he is Not to blame for David Terrell) merits an extra notch and puts him in the B+ to A- range.