The Chicago Bears front office, and coaching staff, has always been one that stands by their quarterback whether that be Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton, or Jay Cutler. This week however, the team took a different approach than they have in years past, expressing no commitment to the quarterback with one of the richest contracts in the NFL. The lack of support Jay Cutler received from both Ryan Pace and John Fox on Tuesday remains uncharacteristic for the franchise and thus leaves two possible explanations as to the reasoning behind their attitudes.
The team is looking to get rid of him
Cutler has hardly been the franchise quarterback the Chicago Bears have expected him to be, but not standing by him in the media remains a risky move for the team. The Bears were only able to acquire Cutler in a trade with the Broncos, which now appears to have been a complete disastrous, and that was only possible because Cutler’s relationship with the team and coaching staff had become irreconcilable. The former Vanderbilt quarterback has always been a tad sensitive, something the team knew when they traded for him, and something Fox and Pace knew when they spoke to the media this week.
Cutler remains one of the most headstrong and thin-skinned quarterbacks in the NFL and by not committing to him the team showed they are at least leaving the possibility open that Cutler will not be on the team next season.
The team is hoping this strategy will motivate Jay
While these comments certainly leave the door open for a possible exit from Cutler, given his contract and status with the team, I fear it is far more likely that these comments were made simply to try to motivate the controversial quarterback. Ever since first arriving in Chicago Cutler has struggled with consistency and has not been quarterback the team expected after trading three first round picks for him. His best season remains 2008, his third year with the Broncos, a season in which he threw for 4,526 passing yards and 25 touchdowns. A year later he forced a trade to Chicago and has not been able to build much of a career since his 2008 Prow Bowl appearance, his only as an NFL quarterback. Clearly, the 31-year old quarterback needs a little extra push, or maybe just a kick in the butt, something to get him ready and motivated for 2015. These comments may be Pace and Fox’s first attempt to awaken their struggling quarterback.