It was previously believed that the Chicago Bears would not use the franchise tag on quarterback Jay Cutler this offseason, but now it appears that the team could be having a change of heart regarding their free agent to be signal-caller.
Bears general manager Phil Emery once again said that he is considering all options and the franchise tag is still not out of play.
“I didn’t say that I would rule it out,” Emery told ESPN 1000, via Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com. “I said it’s not the first thing we would think about in signing players that we like. If you put a franchise tag on a player, that’s a player that you like. We like Jay. If you like a player, you want to move forward in a multi-contract year basis, not a short term.”
The question for Chicago is whether or not they will want to devote that kind of money to Cutler.
Chicago’s biggest needs are on the defensive side of the ball, so they may decide that they need to focus their attention and money in that direction.
Of course, that would mean that the team would need to look for another quarterback to bolster their depth at the position. One interesting prospect would be LSU’s Zach Mettenberger, who will need some time to recover from his torn ACL. Once he is healthy, he could be the team’s quarterback of the future while Josh McCown holds things down in the interim.