Much-maligned QB Jay Cutler will remain with the Bears next season, according to reports.
Jay Cutler may be one of the most disliked players in football, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Bears will trade him, and according to new reports, they may not be trying to.
Some reports have surfaced this week saying that the Bears were shopping their quarterback. Now, according to both ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, that is not the case:
Despite a high-powered offense featuring Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, and Alshon Jeffery, the Bears stumbled to a 5-11 finish. Granted, much of that was the defense’s fault (this is far from the fearsome Bears defense we came to know the team for under Lovie Smith), but many fans and media members alike were quick to blame Cutler for the team’s struggles.
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It’s within reason to cast blame on Smokin’ Jay, especially in light of the huge contract he signed prior to the season–he led the league in interceptions this year with 18. But his other numbers are very solid: 3,812 yards, 28 touchdowns, an 66 completion rate, an 88.6 QB rating. He’s not lighting the world on fire, but these aren’t the numbers of a quarterback who should be run out of town. And it’s not as though he regressed in 2014: his 2014 numbers actually eclipse his averages from 2009-2012, his first four Chicago years.
Yet the main problem fans and media members have with Cutler is one that may be beyond his control: he just looks mad all the time. People want their quarterbacks to be take-charge, win-at-all-costs leaders; Cutler looks like a sulking gas station employee when he’s on the field. Cutler may have body language issues, but people tend to overreact when it comes to Cutler; remember how mad everyone got when he sat out the 2010 NFC Championship game with an injury? Because he didn’t look like he was in pain? Cutler was also voted America’s fourth-most hated athlete in a 2013 Forbes poll; he shared the list with the likes of Michael Vick and Tiger Woods.
If the Bears have been shopping Cutler, these reports could be a sign that they’ve been underwhelmed by offers for their quarterback so far. It’s also possible that they never really intended to deal him, although new coach Joh Fox still has yet to endorse Cutler as his quarterback, and this is the same team that benched Cutler for Jimmy Clausen during the season. On purpose.
The question, if you’re the Bears, is this: would you rather have Cutler, or trade him for a low-round pick and get out of his contract. Would you really get rid of a solid quarterback only to join the Browns, Bills, and Jets in the bidding sweepstakes for the likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jake Locker?
The team has until Thursday, when Cutler’s 2015 and 2016 salaries become guaranteed, to decide.
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