This past week a lot of people were asking whether or not Jay Cutler is a franchise quarterback after his Chicago Bears choked away a playoff spot for the second year in a row. The answer is still yes he is. Phil Emery says so and I agree. Take out the teams who made the playoffs, besides maybe San Francisco, and what quarterbacks are left that are seen as a franchise player?
Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Matt Stafford to me, are the only other franchise quarterbacks out there besides Cutler to not make the playoffs.
The first three names are Super Bowl winners, Rivers is on a team in flux, and Stafford showed his inconsistency this year.
If you’re one that believes Cutler isn’t a franchise quarterback, where do you find one? There aren’t any free agent franchise quarterbacks out there. Emery wouldn’t give up the team to trade up for a left tackle in last year’s draft so what makes you think he’d trade up to get a quarterback in this year’s draft? Last year’s draft class for quarterbacks is rare so don’t expect to find a franchise quarterback in the fourth round like the Seattle Seahawks did in getting Russell Wilson. By the way, they signed who they thought was going to be their franchise quarterback in the off-season before the draft when they picked up Matt Flynn.
The fact is the Bears don’t have guy “waiting in the wings” so to speak like the Green Bay Packers did when they drafted Aaron Rodgers and still had Brett Favre. Cutler will be 30 this coming season and still in the prime of his career. Does he have a lot to work on? Yes. But does he also have all the intangibles to be a franchise player? Yes.
Here’s one more thing to remember, Cutler has had three different offensive coordinators in his four years with the team. It doesn’t matter who you are, that makes it hard to have consistency in production. Hopefully the Bears bring in an offense-first type of head coach, make some moves on the line to sure that up, then we will all witness whether or not Jay Cutler is a big game player or just a big name.