Yeah, it makes the Bears Super Bowl contenders, but no more so than the Giants, Eagles, Cowboys, Vikings, Panthers, Falcons, Saints, and Cardinals already are.
Look, I'm a QB-centric guy, but I disagree with those people that think Cutler is going to be able to make this 9-7 Bears team into some 13-3 team that will be the frontrunner to the NFC crown. It could happen, but I don't think the Bears are much better than the Falcons right now.
I don't think Cutler is that much better than players like Kyle Orton. I think people tend to overhype Cutler based off his numbers. BUt IMO, Cutler is no better a QB than Phillip Rivers. And I don't think of Philip Rivers as a "franchise" QB at least not in the same way I think of players like Manning, Brady, McNabb, Roethlisberger, Brees, etc.
How many 1st rounders turn into players as good as Cutler? Well in the past 5 drafts, there have been 3 QBs: Manning, Rivers, Roethlisberger, which doesn't count FLacco, Ryan, Campbell, and Aaron Rodgers.
Adrian Peterson, Joe Thomas, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Kellen Winslow, Roddy White, Vince Wilfork, Jon Beason, Thomas Davis, Jonathan Vilma, DeMarcus Ware, Shawne Merriman, Patrick Willis, Shawn Andrews, Tommie Harris, Haloti Ngata, Mario Williams, Antonio Cromartie, Darrelle Revis, LaRon Landry, and Sean Taylor are/were elite or near-elite players at their respective positions and have been 1st round picks since 2004, making them comparable to Cutler.
I'm not saying everyone on that list is a guy I'd swap for Cutler straight up or rather have than Cutler.
But I disagree with people that paint Cutler as this "great" QB and Kyle Orton as this "career backup."
Look, I believe you need strong QB play to win in this league. But I don't believe that Kyle Orton was incapable of that. Had the Bears been able to add a player like Hakeem Nicks or Brian Robiskie in this year's draft, I think they would have been fairly set on offense. And those others picks they could have used would have gone a long way IMO to adding youth to their old defense.
When you give up the price the Bears gave up, you're basically saying that we're not going to be able to improve the team a lot in the next 2 drafts. So you better be sure that Cutler is going to really elevate your team in the next 2 years to counter that. And IMO, Cutler is not that good.
IMO, this is a lot like the move to acquire Brett Favre for the Jets and Drew Brees for the Saints. Did it make them significantly better? Yep. Did it even make them "contenders?" Yep. But do they have any rings to show for it? No. And would they be much better had they focused on drafting well in those years instead of trying the FA route? I think so.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.