5 Reasons Why Chicago Bears Re-Signing Jay Cutler is a Huge Mistake
Jay Cutler's 7-Year Deal Was a Bad Decision for the Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears had a much different 2013 season than they had hoped for. In a city where defense is typically the number one priority, Chicago took the opposite approach. Last season, they were a top-5 offense as Alshon Jeffery broke out to be one of the top stories league-wide while Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte each had Pro Bowl seasons of their own.
Meanwhile, the defense took a gigantic leap back. Partly due to injury, but also partly due to all-around poor play, the Bears' lack of tackling, especially in the run game, was a huge part of why the unit was considered a failure in 2013. Had they been up to par, Chicago would have easily made the playoffs. As I said, they had no problem putting points on the board.
One of the big reasons why they were such a success on offense was due to the mind of Marc Trestman and his new style of offense. Catering to each of his quarterbacks' strengths, Trestman helped both Jay Cutler and Josh McCown have very good seasons during their time as the starter.
Thursday morning, the Bears made a splash when they decided to bring back the former. Cutler was re-signed for an enormous 7-year contract. While Chicago solidified their faith in the quarterback, not everyone is too thrilled about the deal -- myself included.
Are the Bears crazy? A 7-year contract for a guy that has been as inconsistent as Cutler is just ludicrous, if you ask me. Cutler in no way, shape or form earned that type of contract, but Chicago did not want to let him go this offseason when there weren't many better options out there in free agency.
With that said, Chicago still could have done without such a lucrative deal. Here are five reasons why Cutler's contract was a horrible mistake for the Bears.
5. Injury-Plagued 2013 Creates Unknown Future
Cutler's 2013 was highlighted by two significant injuries. Both his groin and ankle were issues that kept him from playing throughout the year, which shouldn't scream "long-term contract" to anybody. How do the Bears know that Cutler will hold up? He's a tough guy, that's without a doubt. But, it seems every year there is something that keeps him from playing an entire season, or keeps him from being 100 percent healthy. In fact, Cutler's only full 16-game season as a Bear came in his first year with the team.
4. Josh McCown’s Emergence
The emergence of Cutler's backup, McCown, proved that Chicago could have easily gotten by in the next year or two before drafting a franchise quarterback. McCown ended 2013 with the highest quarterback rating of his career at 109.0, and flourished in Trestman's system. The Bears could have signed McCown to be the short-term starter, while focusing on rebuilding their defense in the meantime.
3. 7 Years is Too Much Commitment
Like I said before, Cutler did not earn himself a 7-year deal. The Bears are simply too loyal to their guy, though. For the next seven years, the quarterback position in Chicago is on lockdown barring a career-ending injury or trade. At first, that might sound incredible as a Bears fan. But, this is Cutler we're talking about. He hasn't proven himself in the five years as a Bear, so why give him another seven?
2. Consistently Poor Decisions
In Cutler's 67 career games with the Bears, he has thrown 75 interceptions and fumbled the ball 28 times. That equates to roughly 1.7 turnovers per game out of the Chicago quarterback, meaning, you are guaranteed Cutler will throw an interception each game and he very well could turn it over once more. Cutler has all the ability in the world to be a great quarterback -- we've heard it a million times. When will he begin to prove that, though? He'll be 31 years old entering next season and still hasn't peaked? Yikes.
1. Far Too Much Money
The new deal gives Cutler an average of $18 million per year in the first three seasons, so it's safe to say the Bears front-loaded the deal. It doesn't matter how you spin it, that's just far too much money for a guy like Cutler. As I said previously, the Bears need cash to spend on defense, first and foremost. Offensively, Trestman can make it work with someone like McCown. Yes, he can also make it work with Cutler, but not for $54 million over three years. The Bears are, quite frankly, throwing money right out the window.