At the end of this season, Jay Cutler becomes a free agent, and there’s been some real debate among those making the decisions for the Chicago Bears whether to give him a new contract, making him their franchise quarterback, or to go in another direction after a tenure filled with disappointments and not enough postseason.
Starting for the Bears since 2009, Cutler has posted a 38-25 record as a starter. However, he’s led the Bears to the postseason only once (in 2010). In 2011, his injury caused a huge collapse after a 7-3 start. The same scenario repeated itself last season, although Cutler missed only one game, as the Bears barely missed out on the playoffs once more.
Marc Trestman might want to try something new, with a rookie quarterback in a draft promising to be a bit more loaded in that position than the previous one, instead of giving a huge contract to someone like Cutler, who is one of those high risk, high reward type of throwers, without actually getting his team to the promised land despite all of the talent.
It seems the Bears have the tools on offense to make it happen: An excellent receiving core with Marshall and Jeffery, and now a tight end they can put their faith in with Martellus Bennett. Matt Forte is still going strong, while the offensive line is getting better and better. Injuries have decimated the defense, but it seems the Bears are more concerned about the man leading their offense than rebuilding a unit that’s not as prolific as in the past.
With Cutler now tearing his groin muscle, keeping him out four around four weeks, there’s a chance that by the time he returns to start for them again, they’ll be out of the playoff race. The question whether to keep him with the franchise tag or a long term contract will obviously be the first order of business for the Bears, but there’s also the chance of trading him to a team in need of a good but not great starting quarterback.
Marc Trestman, according to the past, prefers a quarterback who is smart and moves well. Jay Cutler has a big arm, but tends to make too many mistakes, and his mobility isn’t his strongest suit. With an opportunity to start with a clean slate and a quarterback of his choosing. this might mean Jay Cutler is playing in his final season for the Bears.