It’s only a matter of time until the Chicago Bears release Jay Cutler and make him a free agent. Here are ten teams that could end up with his services.
It’s seems to be a consensus that the Chicago Bears will send Jay Cutler packing this offseason. Obviously the Bears are going to want to trade their quarterback to receive some sort of compensation, but with the market the way it is and Cutler’s price tag at $16 million, odds are the Bears will end up releasing him.
If that happens, Cutler will hit the open market with a chance to sign where he chooses. That is of course, if the feeling is mutual with said team. There will certainly be a market for Cutler, but the question is, what type of market will there be for him to start? Most teams that need a quarterback aren’t very good, so they will try to find a young QB for the future. Teams that are ready to compete for a playoff spot, may not want to give the keys to the car to Cutler who has never proven he can win consistently. That means Cutler may end up with a team that didn’t land their primary choice at QB and are going with a short-term solution, or you might see a better team give Cutler an opportunity to back up and be an excellent piece of insurance for a good football team.
Some teams, like the New York Jets, have already said they have zero interest in Cutler, so for the sake of this article, we will take their word for it. Which teams will give Cutler a chance? Here are ten teams that might sign the Bears quarterback.
10. New England Patriots
If the Patriots do indeed trade Garoppolo they will find themselves in a unique situation. They will be a team with a 40-year old quarterback and no real viable back-up. The Patriots like Jacoby Brissett, and he went 1-1 as a starter last year when Brady was suspended, but if Brady goes down for more than a game or two, is Bill Belichick ready to give his Super Bowl hopes to Brissett?
New England has more money this offseason than they know what to do with it so spending a few million on Cutler to have a viable back-up may be something that the Patriots consider doing. Cutler would love the cerebral environment in offensive meetings with Belichick and Brady, but working with Josh McDaniels could prove to be a problem. It was the hiring of McDaniels by Denver back in 2009 that caused Cutler to ask out in the first place.
Time heals wounds, and if no viable starting opportunity comes knocking, perhaps Cutler will look to join a tremendous organization for a year or two before he goes back out on his own looking for a new starting gig.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers
If I was Jay Cutler, I would come to the Pittsburgh Steelers. There isn’t a better spot for him in my eyes. The Steelers are a winning organization with an obscene amount of weapons on offense. They have a future hall of fame quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, but Big Ben has proven that he is no longer durable. He’s only had two seasons where he has played 16 games since 2009. If Cutler comes to Pittsburgh, he’s going to be a part of an organization that is going to be in contention for a Super Bowl and he is almost certainly going to start a few games.
Whether Cutler is willing to start the season on the bench and wait for an opportunity may not be something he’s willing to do. But there is no better position for Cutler than Pittsburgh. Cutler is almost certainly going to look for a team where he will be the starter this offseason. He probably won’t have the mindset of taking a second string spot for another couple of years, but if he was willing to put his ego in the backseat, Pittsburgh could provide him a tremendous opportunity.
8. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are almost certainly set with Ryan Tannehill and it would take serious intestinal fortitude from head coach Adam Gase to upset the apple cart like this, but it would be something he would consider doing.
Gase did some great things with the Dolphins in year one and Tannehill isn’t the type of QB that Gase would want to trust his future too. Tannehill relies on his natural gifts and athleticism, while Gase usually likes a more cerebral quarterback.
Would the Dolphins consider shipping Tannehill out-of-town and drafting their QB of the future? In the short-term they could bring in Cutler for a season or two. Gase and Cutler had a tremendous working relationship in Chicago and Cutler arguably had his most efficient season under Gase.
This again, is a long shot, but putting Gase and Cutler back together in Miami could be a good short-term plan for Miami if they decide that Tannehill is not their guy.
7. Denver Broncos
Could Jay Cutler have a homecoming to the Mile High City? John Elway doesn’t seem to be comfortable with his current quarterback situation and may want to bring in a veteran QB being that his team is largely in a win-now situation.
Cutler certainly wouldn’t be Elway’s first choice, that will almost certainly be Tony Romo, but if Romo doesn’t come to Denver, Elway still might want to bring in a veteran QB, and Cutler may be that answer.
Mike McCoy (the Broncos new offensive coordinator) and John Fox had a very good working relationship and Fox could be a facilitator bringing McCoy and Cutler together, if Elway decides that he’s willing to give Cutler a shot to get the Broncos back to the promised land.
Elway is very smart when he comes to quarterbacks. He saw the Brock Osweiler struggles before anyone else. If Elway is the next front office executive convinced he can bring Cutler to the next level, Cutler might find himself back in Denver in 2017.
6. Houston Texans
The Houston Texans are ready to go to a Super Bowl. There’s just one problem- they don’t have a quarterback. Bill O’Brien thought he fixed that in the offseason when the team agreed to bring in Osweiler, but he was disappointing to say the least.
The Texans have another year of guaranteed money coming to Osweiler, but with a solid running game, plenty of receiving weapons and a tremendous defense, they can’t afford to have another season with Osweiler struggling under center.
If the Texans bring in Cutler and can get a productive season out of him, they could easily win the division and be poised to make a run at a Super Bowl. That’s a lot of pressure to put on Cutler, but if he wants to start and wants a chance to win, if the Texans don’t land Romo, Cutler will definitely provide them the best opportunity.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars aren’t sure if Blake Bortles is the answer at quarterback, and with a brand new head coach and front office (Doug Marrone and Tom Coughlin) if the two of them aren’t convinced either, they certainly aren’t going to want to be saddled with him.
While the Jaguars might not get rid of Bortles, they may consider bringing in some open competition at the quarterback position. This could be a great opportunity for Cutler. If he wants to come to Jacksonville and beat out Bortles, he could really give the Jaguars a boost. Cutler and Allen Robinson could form a tremendous duo, with two QB gurus to help Cutler iron out any other flaws, he might finally prove that he’s ready to take a team to the next level.
Cutler and the Jaguars could be a viable playoff team under the guidance of Marrone and Coughlin. The Jaguars probably give Bortles one more year to figure things out, but if Coughlin wants to make a move immediately, he could consider Cutler.
4. Washington Redskins
At first glance, this idea makes zero sense. The Redskins are set at QB with Kirk Cousins, but are they? The Redskins just don’t want to commit to Cousins in the long-term and look like they might franchise the quarterback yet again. But Cousins is getting sick of the games in Washington, and reportedly wants out.
If Cousins is traded, the Redskins are going to be looking for a quarterback. Owner Dan Snyder has always liked Cutler and almost traded for him in 2009 before the Bears landed him. While the Redskins certainly won’t look at Cutler as a long-term answer, they very well could trade Cousins for assets and bring in Cutler to pilot the team for the next couple years until they know what direction they want to head.
Cutler won’t make the Redskins a playoff contender, but he certainly won’t make them uncompetitive and should at least keep the fan base from becoming rabid while they figure out the direction of the franchise.
3. Arizona Cardinals
This, again, is a sensible landing spot for Cutler if he’s willing to put his ego in the backseat. The Cardinals have an iffy starting quarterback with Carson Palmer. He’s 37-years old and regressed last season after his tremendous 2015 campaign.
If Palmer regresses again, the Cardinals would be wise to have a veteran QB behind him ready to take over if he struggles. Meanwhile, even though Palmer has only missed 1 game over the last 2 years, he has concrete feet, and could easily take a shot that would put him out for multiple games.
Bruce Arians was willing to come to Chicago to work with Cutler a few years ago, but the Bears messed up the interview and he ended up in Arizona. Arians is a great offensive mind and a marriage between him and Cutler makes a lot of sense. If they sign Cutler to a multiyear deal, the Cardinals are almost certainly ready to move on from Palmer after this season and Cutler would slide right in to a starting quarterback with a solid team around him.
2. San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers have a new coach in Kyle Shanahan and a new GM in John Lynch and have inherited a quarterback situation that is a complete mess. Blaine Gabbert was the starting quarterback at the beginning of the season until he proved what we all already knew- he can’t play.
Colin Kaepernick took over after that and didn’t show nearly the skills and success that he had years ago under John Harbaugh. The 49ers are certainly more than okay moving on from Kaepernick and Gabbert and starting anew at the position.
If they do, they will probably grab their QB of the future with the second overall pick. There is an excellent shot that pick might be North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky. Trubisky came out of nowhere and has skyrocketed up the draft boards all season long. If the 49ers take Trubisky, odds are they won’t want to start him immediately and would probably bring in a veteran to start for a year.
Cutler has always had a great relationship with Mike Shanahan who very well could be a silent voice in the 49ers front office and may encourage Lynch and his son to bring in the veteran Cutler. While Cutler would only be keeping the seat warm, if he wants to start, the 49ers could be an ideal spot.
1. Cleveland Browns
Is there a more perfect spot for Cutler than the Cleveland Browns? The Browns are a mess and Cutler can never seem to catch a break- it makes for a perfect marriage!
The Browns are coming off a dismal 1-15 campaign and Hue Jackson knows he can’t have a similar season and keep his job for 2018. The Browns have the number one pick, but almost certainly will be taking edge rusher Myles Garrett and not take a QB with that position.
The Browns also have the 12th overall pick and could consider taking a QB with that spot. But wouldn’t it be the most Browns thing for that to be their plan and have all three QBs taken before they pick?
That would mean the Browns would have to wait to draft a QB until later in the draft but that certainly wouldn’t fix their situation at all. Bringing in Cutler would give the Browns them a chance in most games and should help them improve enough. Jackson is a good offensive mind and could get something out of Cutler.
But for a career that will always be known as underachieving and never finding the right opportunity, ending his career in Cleveland seems an almost fitting, unfortunate end for Cutler’s NFL career.