I don’t get it. I still can’t figure out why Jay Cutler is the Bears QB. At the end of 2013, then coach Marc Trestman and GM Phil Emery had all the data they needed to make an educated decision on the polarizing QB. They had 4 seasons worth of tape and 8 games in person to evaluate him. That drove them to believe they needed to offer him a 7 year deal for $54 million guaranteed.
They could have franchised Jay and let him prove himself for another year. Me? I would have either franchised him or let him go. I wrote about that at the time. Nothing in his 5 seasons with the Bears would have lead me to believe that he was worth locking up for another multi-year deal.
Fast forward two years. In comes Ryan Pace and John Fox. The new GM/coach combo. They had even more film to evaluate. They could have ate Cutler’s 2015 salary and been off the books for 2016. It would have been a great time to evaluate the team and positioned themselves for a top 5 pick in 2016. Either they overestimated Jay’s abilities or the entire roster, and thought they had a shot at being competitive in 2015. They didn’t foresee their #1 pick, Kevin White ending up with a fracture in his shin which he would need surgery to fix. Nor did they predict Alshon Jeffery being sidelined with a calf/hamstring injury.
The Bears current record of 1-3 is not on Jay Alone. Actually, without Jay the team would be a lot worse off. However, I have a feeling that Jay will be just good enough to wreck the Bears shot at a top 5 draft pick in 2016. I would not be surprised if the Bears end up closer to 8-8 than not. It’s sad for guys like Matt Forte, who is winding down his career and may never get a chance to be in a Super Bowl.
What I can’t figure out is, why am I still rooting for Jay? I didn’t like him coming out of college. In fairness, I only knew the hype he was getting in pre-draft talk. He actually won me over in Denver and I have been a big fan ever since. I don’t get the body language thing–I actually like his personality and sense of humor. No, I am not a relative. Cutler plays hard and is a fighter. To be honest, I don’t care what kind of leader or teammate he is. These guys are millionaires and professionals. They should be able to play with anyone.
I’m kind of stuck in “no mans land”–I’m going to root for the Bears to win, but I know the best thing for the team is to get the worst record possible. This team has enough talent and with Jay, a good enough QB. Just good enough to miss the top 5 picks in the 2016 draft.