The drama following the Chicago Bears this season continues. Jay Cutler has been benched which has made a lot of players on the team surprised, not to mention unhappy, but it all might be part of a grandiose plan to trade the disappointing quarterback.
Marc Trestman, feeling the sword of getting fired on his neck, decided to bench Jay Cutler for at least one of the two remaining games this season, giving Jimmy Clausen, who hasn’t started in an NFL game since 2010, the chance behind center instead. This came following offensive coordinator criticizing Cutler and getting away with it. To the players in the locker room and especially the offense, this feels like a move against their quarterback which despite the disappointing season is someone they do respect and appreciate.
But maybe there’s more to this than just a benching and an attempt to give this team some shock therapy, not to mention save Trestman’s job. Some are suggesting the Bears are about to complete a trade with the Tennessee Titans for Cutler, who has one more guaranteed year left on his deal, and he’ll be benched until the deal is completed behind the scenes or it fizzles out, not wanting to risk any injuries to the highest paid NFL player ($22.5 million) this season.
Cutler might have saw it coming, but has admitted this has hurt his confidence in himself and in his future with the Bears, feeling that it might mean he’s not going to stay with the team forever despite the 7-year contract he signed with them. In short, he didn’t take it very well.
You sign a seven-year deal, and you think you’re going to be here for a while. I’m still hopeful that’s going to ring true, that we’ll have another shot at this. But after this last game, a lot could happen. I’m still disappointed whether they pay me or don’t. I don’t like being in this situation. I don’t like having to sit up here and answer questions about me not being able to play on Sunday. I’d rather get paid less and be able to play on Sunday and play at a high level if that was possible. But it’s not right now. The security of the contract is nice, but I would trade that for reversing our record and playing better football. Whatever happens at the point between after the season in March, or whenever they make decisions, we’ll cross that when we get there. I would like to stay here. I really like it here. I love the guys in the locker room I get to play with. Clearly, circumstances have changed. But going forward, this is where I’d like to be.
The more you look into this move by the Bears and Trestman, it’s easier to spot why this seems like a move to push Cutler out of the team. The players haven’t spoken against the content of the move itself, but the way it was done and the feeling that the offensive coordinator got off with hardly any kind of punishment compared to Cutler losing the starting job isn’t helping a team that has gone 5-9 this season and needs some better news to try and finish this season strong.