The Chicago Bears had to go to back up quarterback Josh McCown after starter Jay Cutler suffered a groin injury. Cutler will be out for at least 4 weeks with a groin injury and McCown, or a quarterback they’d sign and bring in, could potentially steal the job away from Cutler and for good.
First-year coach Marc Trestman has a proven, timing-based offensive system that should afford a non-flashy veteran like McCown a chance to succeed, especially given the team’s wealth of offensive weapons (running back Matt Forte, receiversBrandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, tight end Martellus Bennett). Chicago also has a plethora of playmakers on defense and a special teams ace in Devin Hester, who on Sunday took a punt 81 yards to the house, giving him an NFL-record-setting 20 career return touchdowns, including the postseason.
And while it generally has been presumed that Cutler, whose contract expires after the 2013 season, will remain Chicago’s quarterback in 2014 and beyond — whether via the franchise tag or a lucrative, long-term contract — there is a very real possibility that the Bears’ powers that be (Trestman and general manager Phil Emery) will elect to set him free.
Cutler’s bad habits have prevented him from being as successful as he could, or another player coold be. For instance, he holds on to the ball for too long. He holds it low in the pocket. On the season, he has 7 interceptions and four fumbles.
“Think about it — he had his greatest success with Rich Gannon, who was smart and moved well but wasn’t anybody’s idea of a big thrower,” a source familiar with the Bears’ situation said. “If you’re him, do you want to spend $20 million a year on Cutler, who might not be the best fit, or do you want to find someone you can mold who’s efficient? And if you think about how deep this (next) draft class might be, he can identify his guy and get him relatively cheap for the next few years.”
They could be headed for a split.