Can Jay Cutler Save His Career In Chicago?
Jay Cutler is often descirbed as a career underachiever. Since his arrival in Chicago, any excitement based around his play has quickly been offset by a mediocre, if not downright poor, performance . He does well to temper expectations and has left many a Bears fan justifiably frustrated to date. He has thrown 93 interceptions and 129 touchdowns since his arrival in the Windy City.
His salary is set to eat up 11% of the Bears salary cap in 2015 and it is possible that new coach John Fox looks for ways to lessen this blow or fix Cutler for the short term and for the health of the salary cap. Trading Cutler away or cutting the former Bronco opens a new can of worms. So let's work under the premise that cutler stays in Chicago, what next?
One of the talking points from one of John Fox's first press conferences as the Chicago Bears head coach during the NFL combine, was the fact that he was not quick to address his quarterback issue and Cutler's future. He would not commit to Cutler and spoke highly of free agent Josh McCown. Every coach that has had the pleasure of working with Cutler has tried several techniques to goad excellence from him and every coach has failed in their pursuit. You could argue that this is the kind of approach that is needed to maintain a decent level of performance from the Vanerbilt graduate but that can not be proven and it is unlikely given his track record.
What this approach does do is give the coaches the opportunity to take the control out of Cutler's hands. It also takes the spotlight off the quarterback, which Cutler has shown does not suit him.
Realistically, the Bears can not even think about winning a Superbowl for the next two to three years. It will take at least two very good drafts and some savvy maneovering in free agency to build a team that is ready to compete in the NFC North and the NFC as a whole.
It would be wise for the Bears to keep Cutler, lessen his role as the focal point of any attack, build a solid championship quality defense and let Fox coach his running backs to carry the burden. This way, you are not hit with the possibility of a Jay Cutler-styled implosion that is very difficult to recover from midway through a season.
The Bears have so many pressing issues on the defensive side of the football that that should be their main focus during the draft but if they get the chance to draft a Brett Hundley or a more developmental starter, do they take it? This is the headache that the state of the Bears' future induces.
You can't sit around and wait for a good quarterback to fall into your lap in the NFL but by keeping Cutler, keeping an eye on the markets and keeping your cool while at the negotiating table, you could land yourself a game manager that could lead you to Superbowl glory as long as you are patient enough to wait.