What if I told you that I have all the answer to the questions surrounding the Chicago Bears quarterback situation? First off, you would probably think I was full of it. But I’m also assuming that you’d at least want to hear me out, if for no other reason than for further evidence of my being full of it. But before we get to that, there are just a couple of things I want to get off my chest …
As many of you know, it took me awhile to get behind Jay Cutler. When the Bears first made the trade with Denver that would bring him here in 2009, I thought they gave up way too much for a guy with inflated numbers. His team was a non-factor on the competitive scale. Because, when a team is mostly garbage, it can lead to an all-out pass-fest.
Jay Cutler didn’t make the Pro Bowl because he was one of the best quarterbacks in the AFC, he made it because others declined.
Very often, on a struggling team riddled with injuries, the backup quarterback is the most popular guy on the team with the fans. And it’s the truest sign of just how much NFL fans live in the moment, and it serves to show exactly why this is truly a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league.
Don’t get me wrong, Josh McCown has been a Godsend this season, on and off the field, and he has earned every bit of praise he has received. He has given everyone around him newfound hope and an unabashed perspective.
And that perspective, Bears fans, includes the fact that McCown understands he is the back-up, and when a completely healthy Jay Cutler returns to field, there is no controversy — it’s Cutler’s job for now.
With all that being said, and before I divulge my plan for the future, I would just like to state my belief that the Bears are not going anywhere without a healthy Jay Cutler this year. And who knows, maybe the events of this season will help rejuvenate a man’s career and earn him a little extra cash on his next contract, but don’t expect McCown to get calls about a starting position.
Still, all this chatter is a moot point because neither — yes, I said neither — of these two quarterbacks are in the Bears’ long-term plans. Drum roll, please, while I have my inner meatball break it all down for you …
Cam Newton is going to be a free agent at the end of the 2014 season. While Carolina will have all the amenities to sign him to a long term deal for max money, two questions arise: 1) would he want to stay in Carolina when he can get similar cash elsewhere, and 2) Would he want to pass up playing with the likes of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte, Jon Bostic and Tim Jennings?
The answer to those two questions should be a resounding HELL NO.
He is not exactly a polished product, but he definitely has the skillset to have an extremely successful career. Throw in the fact that Marc Trestman is quickly becoming renowned for his ability to make a connection and improve numerous QBs in a short period of time.
Cam fits this system perfectly because it is predicated on quick decisions and proper check downs. He tends to get himself in trouble when he thinks too long. Add to the fact he is great at relocating the pocket, buying extra time for his receivers to get open. And with the weapons he would have to make plays for him, it would be an offense that would be at the top of the NFL stat charts for sure.
Let’s face facts: it’s going to be an uphill battle for the Bears to reach the playoffs, and that is putting it nicely. Cutler is injury prone, so let’s just classify this as his last hurrah in a Bears uniform and put all of this in the rearview mirror.
The kind of money that it is going to cost to resign him would be best spent trying to revitalize the defense. Cutler was on his way to his best statistical season in the NFL, so think of how many defensive options that would open up with the 18 to 20 million a year he is going to command on the open market available.
As previously mentioned, Josh McCown has done a fantastic job when called upon this season. To this point he has kept turnovers down and pass completion percentage up. It’s a different feel to the offense when he is at the helm; less shots taken down the field, more check downs and quick decisions to the hot routes.
Basically, not as explosive.
But still more efficient, and both ways have worked well for the Bears this season. I am confident in saying that all the losses this year can be squarely placed on the lack of production on the defensive side of the ball.
So here’s what you do: sign McCown for around 1.5 million and find a back-up in the draft or in free agency. Secondly, use the franchise tag on Tim Jennings or Corey Wooton to provide something to build around on defense. Then, draft wisely.
I know that hasn’t been the easiest task for the Bears’ brass in the past, but last year’s picks have given me, and I’m sure many more, a glimmer of hope when it comes to the events that usually take place on the last weekend in April in NYC. Finally, build experience and get ready for the free agent signing period of 2015.
Much of this is wishful thinking, and I know there are a few hiccups to overcome with the plan, but a guy can dream, can’t he? If we are truly honest with everything having to do with the QB controversy in Chicago, this kind of makes sense, not only because of the simple logistics of the situation, but because I said so, dammit.
Everyone has to have something to get them through the day, and mine just so happens to be thinking about what could be for my beloved football franchise.
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Filed under: Interest