For the first 6 games of the Chicago Bears 2013 season, it appeared quarterback Jay Cutler was finally comfortable and willing to grow in a Bears offense. This was a big step not only for him, but for the entire Bears organization. Cutler is in the prime of his career and regardless of his track record, still posseses a lot of skills the majority of quarterbacks in the NFL don’t. Cutler was never going to cash in on a Joe Flacco type deal, but he was set for a big pay day. This all fell apart with another freak injury last Sunday against the Redskins. A groin tear will sideline Cutler for at least a month, and let’s be honest… It will probably be longer than that.
Now comes the biggest question of all, will Jay be signed to a long term deal? It’s a decision that just became a very difficult one for Phil Emery and Co.. I say if you polled 50 Bears fans right now whether or not to bring Cutler back, it would be 25/25 down the middle. The arguments not to bring him back are valid, but the arguments to bring him back are just as strong.
I’m one of the bigger Cutler supporters among the many fans I know, so this may be a bit biased. However, I think the decision is a no brainer and probably already determined. Jay will be back next season (franchise tag or not). This is because Marc Trestman was hand picked as “the guy” to finally be able to reach Cutler and maximize his potential. The organization wouldn’t have done this unless they believed Jay was their guy long term. They wouldn’t have taken a chance and partnered him with Brandon Marshall. The Trestman, Cutler marriage early on seemed to be going in the right direction. Secondly, there isn’t another QB out there available for trade or free agency better than Cutler. And when I say better, I mean a significant upgrade, because that would be the only answer. Why go out and pay another QB who is virtually going to give you the same results and have to teach him the new system?
Some will argue the Bears need to go out and draft their next QB and develop him. My response… That impact QB would likely have to come in the 1st round and you’re therefore paying a lot of money to an unknown developmental project. Drafting a QB to start day 1 of 2014 would be part of an extended rebuilding process, something I know Chicago fans wouldn’t be too thrilled about.
Finally, all Bears fans know the history at the quarterback position. Cutler has come in and shattered every Bears QB record and we haven’t even seen his best yet. I know everyone can sit here and say he has only gone to the playoffs once and stats don’t mean a thing unless you’re winning playoff games. Last time I checked, football was a team game and it takes a lot more than just a quarterback to lead you to a Superbowl. If that were the case, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers would be in the Superbowl every year. There wouldn’t be Colin Kapernick’s, Joe Flacco’s, or Eli Manning’s. But those 3 guys made Superbowl appearances by putting together one good year behind a solid defense. Those quarterbacks were also able to win games with their big play making ability. Bears fans know Cutler can do that.
Cutler should be brought back and given the opportunity to grow in an offense instead of another one and done year. If the Bears decide to go another route, I’m warning Bears fans now…. Be prepared for years of McNown, Matthews, Krenzel, Collins, Stewart, Burris, Miller, Orton, Griese, Chandler, Moreno, and Quinn. Oh, and that list was just in a 10 year span…