The Chicago Bears are rumored to be nearing a decision on Jay Cutler, with just days to either commit to the polarizing quarterback or else ship him out of town.
When the new NFL league year starts on Tuesday, the Bears will have a big paycheck to write for Cutler, with $10 million of his salary becoming fully guaranteed. That has brought the team to a crossroads on whether to keep Cutler, who was benched at the end of last season, or to trade him away before the new year starts.
Trading Jay Cutler won’t be easy, notes NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling, as there aren’t many teams able to pick up his big salary.
Wessling noted that even the Chicago Bears don’t appear to have a solid position on what to do with Jay Cutler.
“If the Bears opt to move on from Cutler, they must find a taker for his salary or fork over $15.5 million in 2015 guarantees for the right to release him.
To that end, ‘teams certainly know that Jay Cutler is available,’ Rapoport reported on Thursday’s edition of NFL Total Access.
The Bears are preparing as if Cutler is going to be their starter right now, Rapoport emphasized, but those plans are written in pencil.”
Judging by the chatter surrounding the Chicago Bears, Jay Cutler is more than likely gone next year. An ESPN report cited at least 10 former Bears staffers spanning the Lovie Smith and Marc Trestman regimes who said they don’t think the team can compete for a Super Bowl with Jay Cutler.
“That sentiment might explain why head coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace remain uncommitted to Cutler as the team’s starting quarterback for 2015,” the report noted. “Deciding whether to commit to Cutler has a time element. If Cutler is on the Bears’ roster on March 12, $10 million of his 2016 salary is guaranteed.”
While the contract may make Jay Cutler difficult to trade, there are many teams that could be in need of the Chicago Bears quarterback. The Buffalo Bills had all the makings of a playoff team last year, other than a sputtering offense led by Kyle Orton. The Tennessee Titans could also be looking for a veteran leader to take over while second-year quarterback Zach Mettenberger develops.
The possible departure of Jay Cutler is not the only rumor surrounding the Chicago Bears. There are also reports that the team is ready to part ways with Brandon Marshall before his $7.5 million salary becomes guaranteed.
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