Last week, we introduced the Chicago Bears Free Agent Stock Watch. With so many prospective free agents playing on the last year of their deals, it’s worth keeping an eye on how some of the key guys are doing and how Phil Emery and Bears management might be evaluating them. Here’s a look back at Week 1, where we listed all of the possible free agents; this week we’ve narrowed it down to just a few risers and fallers.
Call him “Cutty”, “Mr. Fourth Quarter” or simply call him “Jay”. But whichever name you choose, one more can be added to the list — “winner”. Jay Cutler has now led the Bears to comeback victories in back-to-back games and thrown the game-winning touchdown pass each time. Yes, that very same Jay Cutler. Did he play his best football? No, not by a mile. But he made the throws that he needed to down the stretch, including a beautiful back-shoulder bullet to Martellus Bennett to win the game. As long as he can lead this team to victory, Cutler will stay in Chicago.
Hester had one of the greatest games of his career, despite not scoring a touchdown. His 249 return yards set a new franchise record and he set up the Bears with great field position for the entire game. Hester showed what his true value can be to the team, and if he continues to dazzle in the return game, he’ll be back next season for sure.
For the second straight game, Jennings came up with a big turnover for the Bears. And for the second straight game, it overshadowed his otherwise lackluster performance. This time, it was Greg Jennings taking advantage of the Bears’ corner. Jennings’ status remains high due to creating turnovers, but if his coverage problems persist, he could find himself on Page 2 of this article soon.
Anderson has been a pleasant surprise in the Bears’ linebacker corps. He finished Sunday with 9 tackles (8 solo) and tallied another key pass deflection. He doesn’t have the highlight-reel abilities of Jon Bostic, but he’s consistent and safe to keep around for another year or two.