Drafting quarterback David Fales in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft proves that the Chicago Bears are well aware of Jay Cutler‘s injury history, and that the team is willing to build a solid insurance policy around him.
Sometimes teams just have a tendency to ignore the obvious, but luckily for fans of the Bears, the organization is addressing the fact that Cutler hasn’t been on the field for 12 games in the past three seasons. Whether you love him or hate him, Cutler is on the hook for a huge $126.7 contract through 2020 that will keep him as the starting quarterback for the Bears throughout the next few years. With unproven backups Jordan Palmer and Jerrod Johnson the only options to take the field if Cutler goes down, the brass in Chicago were very smart to get the player that coach Jim Harbaugh proclaimed to be a top-five quarterback in this years’ draft.
Fales is a bit of a journeyman, but after short stints at Nevada and in JUCO, the young signal caller found a home at San Jose State. He had an impressive two seasons as the starter with a combined total of 8,382 passing yards, 66 touchdown passes and 22 interceptions, and the Bears hope his numbers can translate to the NFL. Aside from his quick decision-making abilities, Fales has been praised for his toughness and ability to put touch on the ball.
His biggest criticism, however, is that he lacks elite arm strength and sometimes trusts himself too much by floating the ball or putting it into too tight of a space. Playing in a smaller division, the other obvious knock on the signal caller is his competition level in college. When Clay Matthews is running at full force and trying to body slam him into the ground, how will Fales respond?
Fales won’t create a quarterback controversy between himself and the current starter, but he will keep the Bears competitive if Cutler goes down.