If anyone needed proof that Jay Cutler might be done as a quarterback in the NFL, the Houston Texans not showing more than mild interest him deliver the final piece of the puzzle, preferring to take their chances with career backups and an not too scintillating quarterback class in the upcoming draft.
Cutler, released by the Bears last month after 8 seasons with the team in which he was able to lead them to just one postseason appearance (made the NFC title game and lost to the Packers), has received very little interest so far. The New York Jets made a call but ended up signing Josh McCown, and the Texans called as well. But it seems no one thinks of Cutler is worthy of being part of their 3-man quarterback core. Not because of his ability, which might not be starter material for most teams but should be enough to contend for a spot on quite a few, but because of his age, price tag and the perception of not giving too much of a f***.
So who do the Texans have before the draft? Tom Savage, with 5 games, 2 starts and 92 attempted passes since being drafted in 2014 out of Rutgers (he also played for Pitt), the favorite to start; and Brandon Weeden, in the league since 2012 but will turn 34 when next season begins. He had some success as a starter in the NFL, but that’s usually followed by poor stretches, injuries, and getting benched.
Bill O’Brien, who didn’t really stand in the way of Brock Osweiler getting traded after a miserable debut season in Houston, loves Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes, coming out of Texas Tech which means he’s great in up tempo spread schemes, but maybe not in what the league demands of QBs. Mahomes was a two-year starter in Lubbock and has impressive arm strength and build, but his technique seems like the kind that usually needs to go through some restructuring and developing in the NFL. Many believe he can become a starter in the NFL, but needs time playing behind an experienced starter, like the one the Arizona Cardinals or New York Giants can offer.
And what about Cutler? If he really wants to remain an NFL player, he’ll have to wait until after the draft and see which teams have an opening or need left, and hope for the best. No one is going to guarantee him a spot. The best he can look forward to is a spot on the roster, hopefully contending for the QB1 role. Whether or not he’s ready to go through such a downgrade remains to be seen.