Jay Cutler is the Bears quarterback for the foreseeable future.
But if former Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice had it his way, one key member of the Seattle Seahawks would be backing up Cutler in Chicago right now.
Tice, whose son was a backup quarterback at Wisconsin, had a firsthand look at Russell Wilson. He watched Wilson set the single season passing touchdown record for the Badgers in 2011.
Tice wanted to the Bears to select Wilson in the 2012 NFL Draft and said they would be 'foolish' to not select him.
“Mike believed in him and said he was trying to build a case for him in Chicago,” Badgers Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said of Tice. “He was saying he was trying to give him more value on our draft board, saying he could play Wildcat quarterback for you, or be a wing back.”
"He told anybody that would listen that they'd be foolish if they [didn't] take him and take him high in the draft. I felt so strongly about him because I watched him that whole year and he did everything right.”
The big knock on Wilson coming out of Wisconsin was his height and that his success was due in large part to the Badgers' offensive line. Some pre-draft rankings even had Wilson listed as a fifth-round talent.
The Seahawks' brass fell in love with Wilson's talent and selected him with the 75th overall pick. Now, in his second-year in the NFL, Wilson has Seattle one victory away from hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
Who did the Bears select four picks later? Brandon Hardin, who was out of the NFL before ever playing an NFL down.
Would Chicago have drafted Wilson if he fell to 79?
We will never know.