ESPN’s Chris Mortenson reported Tuesday that the Bears fully expect Jay Cutler to be their quarterback for the 2015 season.
On Monday with all the free agency news spreading, Cutler was part of that noise in trade talks. However, one of Mortenson’s sources said there was “absolutely zero truth” to those reports.
According to ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson, Cutler was at Halas Hall last week working with new offensive coordinator Adam Gase and the playbook.
Cutler is fresh off a season where he threw for 3,812, his highest total since 2008, but he had a league-high 24 turnovers including 18 interceptions.
Head coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace didn’t endorse Cutler back when the two spoke at the NFL Combine last month in Indianapolis. Expect them to speak about Cutler now that this issue seems to be ready to move past.
Cutler enters his seventh season in Chicago, arguably his most important considering his future. On Thursday, he is owed $10 million in guaranteed money and is set to make $15.5 million this season.
Any sense of security about his future after 2015 remains to be seen. He would be owed $6 million guaranteed if he is on the Bears’ roster exactly a year from now. The Bears could release him after the 2016 free of charge.
Cutler will turn 32 prior to the NFL Draft. He holds a 44-38 career record with the Bears and an 84.9 passer rating. He has winning records in only three of his nine seasons all coming from 2010-12 with a 27-13 posting. Cutler went 10-16 over the last two seasons.
With his lucrative contract, it was almost impossible to trade him and get anything in return. Most importantly the free-agent quarterback market is beyond thin and outside of FSU’s Jameis Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota a true talent isn’t really there in the draft.
The Bears need to scale back the offense and run things through Matt Forte and Ka’Deem Carey or whoever they bring in as a second back. That will help tremendously.
Cutler can be successful in an offense when he isn’t the main focus. Last season, he struggled trying to be a leader as the Bears’ offense lacked any early movement in games. That led to the Bears playing from behind much too often and Cutler then had to take chances, which ultimately made him look even worse.
Also, the lack of an effort to get Forte the ball in the running game made things that much worse.
Either way, Cutler is the best option the Bears have right now. They need to focus on that and worry about the future when the time comes.
In the right scheme and with some pressure taken off his back he has proven to be a solid quarterback in the past.
Backing up Cutler again will be Jimmy Clausen, who was re-signed to a one-year, $1.125 million last Friday. His 2015 salary will be $745,000 as he earned a $262,500 signing bonus.
Second-year man David Fales projects as the third quarterback unless the Bears add a young arm in the draft.
Bears Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long approved of the news with a nice Game of Thrones reference.
My allegiance is to the one true king of the north – he’s got my back I’ve got his %6 pic.twitter.com/TI4Tcn1zZn
— Kyle (@Ky1eLong) March 10, 2015
Thoughts on Cutler and the Bears sticking it out for at least one more season?
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