Jay Cutler Benched – What Does it Mean?


Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

I almost drove my car off the road on the way home from the day job when I heard the news of Jay Cutler getting benched.  It was particularly stunning since Marc Trestman held a press conference just hours earlier and there was no mention of this.  ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Cutler was notified this morning:

After I pulled my car out of the proverbial ditch, I had to ask myself, what is behind the benching of Cutler at this point in the season?  What does this mean?  I’m sure Trestman will dance around the truth in the coming days, but here are my reactions.

It’s Punitive

That was my knee jerk reaction.  Trestman is benching Cutler to punish him.  Cutler has seemed more checked out and distant than usual.  Let’s face it, he was awful against the Saints.  As I watched the start of the game, it really looked like Cutler hadn’t ever played quarterback.  Even though his stat line has been the best of his career, the reality is he’s been awful all season.   He isn’t reading the defenses, he isn’t making the throws, his decisions have been horrible and his ball security is even worse.  Accountability has been a buzz word all season long.  Now, when it’s too little too late, Trestman is finally holding Cutler accountable.

It’s Trestman’s Hail Mary

More from Bear Goggles On

The Bears organization has looked like cockroaches when the lights are turned on.  They’ve been scrambling to save themselves.  Emery distanced himself from Trestman in the handling of the Kromer fiasco.  This is Trestman’s way to distance himself from Cutler.  It’s Trestman’s way of saying, “it’s not me, it’s Jay.”  It’s Trestman’s Hail Mary attempt, a desperation move to try to save a little

That would be especially true if Jimmy Clausen can actually do anything productive against the Detroit Lions and their top ranked defense.  One thing I can’t understand is why they’re starting Clausen rather than rookie David Fales.  Don’t you want to see if you have anything in the rookie who was just elevated from the practice squad?  Is Jimmy Clausen going to be around when this team is relevant again?

The Bears are Protecting Cutler… To Trade Him

The last thing the Bears want is for Jay Cutler to tear an ACL or suffer some random injury against the Lions ferocious pass rush.  Why?  Because if they want to have any chance of ridding themselves of him, he needs to be healthy.  Think trading Cutler is impossible?  It’s not.  Is it unlikely?  Yes.  But the funny thing about football is that there’s always someone desperate enough and there’s always a coach with a big enough ego to think they can take someone else’s trash and turn it into treasure.   There are plenty of teams who have a big need for a quarterback and all it takes is one of them to have a coach that thinks they can unlock Cutler’s potential.

The Bears Are Making Themselves More Marketable

By benching Cutler, the Bears are showing prospective head coaching and maybe (hopefully) GM candidates that they’re not tied to Cutler.  By showing a willingness to sit him down, it could signal that it’s the end of the road for Cutler in Chicago.  That could open up the pool of candidates.  The Bears painted themselves into a corner by insisting their head coach keep Rod Marinelli.  That was enough of a turn off to send Coach of the Year Bruce Arians, whose Cardinals are in the pole position in the NFC.

Big Changes are On the Way

Any way you slice it, there are some big changes coming to the Chicago Bears.  The 2015 offseason is going to be one heck of a roller coaster ride.  Knowing that should give us the strength to get through these last couple of games.