The San Francisco 49ers have been searching for a true franchise quarterback for quite some time. Last season, they struggled and ended up playing both Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick. That duo is not going to get the job done and new general manager John Lynch will be scouring the trade market this offseason for upgrades.
According to a report from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the 49ers could trade for Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler. Lynch is friends with Cutler, which could end up being one of the main reasons why the 49ers pursue a trade with the Bears.
Cutler certainly isn’t the name that San Francisco fans want to see brought in to save the franchise. After watching the way that his career has fallen apart in Chicago, Cutler is no longer viewed as a legitimate franchise quarterback. Perhaps Lynch will see things differently, but that won’t make fans happy.
During the 2016 season with the Bears, Cutler ended up playing in just five regular season games. He completed 59.1 percent of his pass attempts for 1,059 yards, four touchdowns, and five interceptions. Last season with the Bears, Cutler completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 3,659 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.
There is no doubt that he has shown flashes of being a star quarterback. He has had a few seasons where it looked like he was turning his career around. A change of scenery could help him do just that, although the last time he changed teams didn’t work out so well.
At 33 years old, Cutler still has a few good years of football left in his prime. San Francisco could very well be getting the quarterback that they need to turn their franchise around. Cutler may not be consistent, but when he is on, there are very few quarterbacks with the dynamic ability that Cutler possesses.
San Francisco finished the 2016 season with a 2-14 record. It was yet another disappointing season and Chip Kelly ended up getting fired. The 49ers cannot continue to play around with mediocrity, which is why management decided to make some major changes in the front office and on the sidelines.
Trading for Cutler may not be the most popular move, but it may be the 49ers’ best option. Tony Romo and Jimmy Garoppolo are two other potential trade targets, although both of those players will be much more expensive than Cutler. Even if Cutler doesn’t work out long-term, the 49ers still have to make an effort to improve.
Chicago won’t be asking for a lot in return for Cutler, as they would likely settle for getting his contract off of their books. Cutler still has a deal through the 2020 season, which could be a hangup in the deal. San Francisco may not end up wanting to take on that kind of a long-term contract for a quarterback that isn’t guaranteed to be a long-term fix under center.
Looking ahead at the upcoming offseason, it will be interesting to see what Lynch and the 49ers have up their sleeves. They have to make some big moves if they want to make their fans happy. Cutler would be a big move, although the jury would be out on a grade for the entire 2017 season.
All of that being said, expect to see the 49ers be aggressive on the trade market this offseason. They will be looking to bring a new quarterback on board and it wouldn’t be shocking to see Cutler end up being that guy. He may not be the big splash that San Francisco fans want, but he would definitely be an upgrade.
Do you think the San Francisco 49ers should pursue a trade for Jay Cutler? What other quarterbacks do you think they should target? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by Jeffrey Phelps/AP Images]