When the Chicago Bears acquired Jay Cutler from the Denver Broncos, the assumption amongst Bears fans were that the team finally has a franchise quarterback that could always have them in contention year-in and year-out. That certainly hasn’t been the case in the Cutler era in Chicago, as Cutler has come up short in the last three years, and with how this season has gone, 2012 looks like it will be a fourth.
There’s no doubt that Cutler is the best QB in Bears franchise history from a talent standpoint. He came from the Broncos after compiling two consecutive 4,000 yard seasons, and was a step away from getting to that elite status. However, since Cutler has arrived in Chicago, he has regressed and is no longer held in that light.
A lot goes into that: the three different coordinators in Cutler four years here, lack of offensive line talent and continuity each year, and poor talent at the skill positions. There are a lot of excuses you can make for Cutler’s failures, but Cutler himself has to take most of the blame for his short-comings each year.
Cutler is in his seventh year in the NFL, and has only made the playoffs once in those seven years. He still has problems with consistency as far as mechanics and accuracy. The way he melts down after a bad play is something to worry about. His choice to be more of a see-it-and-throw-it passer, instead of throwing to a spot, is a liability.
We came into this season expecting Cutler to take a major step towards being one of the best quarterbacks in the league; instead, we are at a level of uncertainty with him. While a couple years ago you could comfortably say Cutler is the guy moving forward, there’s some doubt in the back of your mind when saying that now.
Cutler contracts runs out after the 2013 season, but you can bet that contract extensions will be discussed after this season. If I’m Phil Emery, I would hold off on those talks, especially if a new coaching regime is brought in. There should be no rush to extend Cutler and looking back at his body of work here in Chicago, Cutler himself should understand that (in this NFL age though I doubt it).
If there are sweeping changes after this season, no player on the roster should be untouchable and includes Cutler. It’s time for some fans to stop comparing Cutler to past Bears QB’s and start looking around the NFL at some of the best QB’s in the game. When you start doing that, you too would have some doubts start creeping into your mind on rather he’s the right guy moving forward.