The time for excuses and sidestepping for Jay Cutler is done. The Chicago Bears have done everything they possibly can to build this team around Cutler, including replacing the entire coaching staff. The offensive line has seemingly been repaired, and the Bears went out and got some skill position help for Cutler.
Now Cutler needs to deliver for the Bears, or take his vox melancholia to another team.
For the last four seasons in Chicago, and three seasons prior to that with the Denver Broncos, Cutler has been the king of excuses and blame displacement for shoddy performances and seasons. There comes a time when you have to look at the overall body of work and decide that maybe the common factor in all this is Cutler.
This is a contract year for Cutler, and the first year under a new head coach who, instead of being a defensive mastermind, is well known for his ability to develop quarterbacks. While Cutler may be well past the development stage, he can still soak up a lot of knowledge and help from Marc Trestman. If there were any year that was going to be the year for Cutler to prove his critics wrong, this would be it.
If Cutler can’t at least help lead the Bears to the playoffs (preferably deep into them) this season, then it might be time for the Bears to look elsewhere. The only problem for Chicago is that right now there is nobody sitting behind Cutler who really could step in and be the next starting QB, and drafting someone this season would be a risky hedge bet with seemingly lack of QB talent in the draft.
If Chicago does decide to let Cutler sign elsewhere next season, they could be forced into drafting their next hopeful QB in 2014 and starting an untested rookie, although, in recent years that hasn’t worked out too badly for guys like Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III.
Cutler essentially has a one-year reprieve in his contract season to make re-believers out of the Bears and their fans, otherwise they may just tell him to take his ball and go.