Jay Cutler’s career with the Chicago Bears resembles that Friday night you had big plans to go out with friends, hit that club with an expensive cover charge, pop some brandname bubbly, dance your pants off, and stumble up your driveway after convincing your Uber driver to make a pitstop at your favorite Taco Bell. Sounds great, right? Right!
What actually happened that night is you came home from work, fell asleep in your favorite pair of sweatpants, washed down two pints of ice cream with a bottle of cheap wine, drunk dialed your ex, and slid into some DM’s on social media. Pretty unspectacular, right? Right!
Fans expected big things and Super Bowl rings after the front office served up a lucrative seven-year, $124 million contract that included a whopping $54 million in guaranteed money. They longed for division titles and playoff victories. But just like that Friday night, extravagant plans turned to unfulfilled potential.
Cutler missed at least one start every year since 2010, and has missed three starts this year with a thumb injury. In ten-plus seasons he’s recorded a winning record just three times, and hasn’t done so since 2012. His record of 50-49 with the Bears epitomizes the horrendous leadership and performance that has tarnished his tenure in Chicago. I know his offensive line has been far from great in past seasons, but he’s finished two seasons as the interception leader and one as the sack leader.
Stats won’t explicitly tell you he relies too much on his arm and gunslinger mentality. They will indicate he tends to throw off his back foot and into double or triple coverage. Stats won’t explicitly tell you his teammates and coaches don’t have faith in him, but interviews will. Specifically, his ex-teammate and current Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett had some choice words to criticize the quarterback’s performance in Chicago.
Should Cutler remain on the Bears’ roster through the full length of his contract, which ends after the 2020 season, he’ll earn $2.5 million each of the next four years in roster bonus money. His average cap hit over the next four years is just under $18 million, which really is not exorbitant these days considering Brock Osweiler’s average cap hit over the next three years of his contract is $20 million. The difference: Cutler probably won’t get any better, Osweiler should.
It’s unclear how many suitors Jay Cutler may have at this point in his career. Considering the amount of money he’s owed over the next several years, it’s hard to imagine many teams jumping at the chance to acquire a quarterback that turns 34 years old next April. The Cleveland Browns feel like an obvious candidate, but it’s likely they will continue to tank in hopes of landing a top pick in the 2017 draft.
A lot of NFL quarterbacks go through bad stretches. Some find new jobs in the NFL, some don’t. But there is good news for Jay Cutler: sometimes you don’t have to be the best-looking guy at the bar, you just have to be the only guy at the bar.
Like many 34-year olds, Cutler can’t hang on the weekends anymore. The Bears spent undue gobs of cash with hopes of establishing NFC North supremacy, but have not progressed very far with Fool’s Gold. It’s time for Chicago to put out the dumpster fire that is hindering the franchise in every way.
Stats courtesy of pro-football-reference.com