Jay Cutler is done with the Bears. But his jersey number isn’t. According to the Bears’ website, Mark Sanchez will take over Cutler’s old No. 6 jersey.
After eight seasons with the Bears, Cutler was released on March 9 — a day before the team officially announced the free-agent signing of quarterback Mike Glennon.
Sanchez, a first-round pick of the Jets in 2009, was signed on March 24 to be Glennon’s backup.
Cutler, who was acquired from the Broncos in 2009 in a blockbuster trade, went 52-52 as the Bears’ starting quarterback in eight seasons, which includes the playoffs. He also is the franchise leader in passing yards (23,443) and touchdown passes (154).
Cutler will be remembered as a lightning-rod figure in Chicago, and the social-media responses to the news that Sanchez would don No. 6 reflected it. Before joining the Bears, Sanchez wore No. 6 with the Jets and Broncos.
Recent popular Bears players have seen their numbers immediately worn again after their departures. Center Hroniss Grasu is No. 55, which linebacker Lance Briggs wore. Running back Jeremy Langford also is No. 33, which cornerback Charles Tillman made popular.
Interestingly enough, linebacker Brian Urlacher’s No. 54 is the only jersey number not to re-enter circulation as of late. The Bears have 14 retired numbers.
This shouldn't be allowed!!!— GOOSH (@goosh42) April 10, 2017
Awful— Tommy Dobbs (@Tommy_Dobbs) April 10, 2017
should not be allowed!— Walter Landrum III (@Walt_Landrum3) April 10, 2017
Bringing shame to the entire house of Cutler— Kevin (@KevInAccounting) April 10, 2017
People saying Sanchez shouldn't wear #6 like cutler was Peyton Manning https://t.co/TAO7eMcBXw— Brett (@Cubbieblue97) April 10, 2017
I don't understand the issue with this. There were players that wore the # before Cutler and there will be much more after Snnchez— Erica (@SaneBSBfan98) April 10, 2017
Put some respect on Cutler's name https://t.co/cb0KJPgRD1— Jake Rebecchi (@JakeRebecchi) April 10, 2017
Wonder if Chicago fans will rage like they do with the #1 for the Bulls, granted the same team success https://t.co/jX5aeCHlQx— Luke Jett (@LukeJett) April 11, 2017
this is salt in my wound I MISS JAY https://t.co/kPcw7NpPaS— katie dzwierzynski (@kdzwierzynski) April 11, 2017
He should wear a number commiserate with the number of passes he will throw as a bear in 2017. 0 https://t.co/CFTFeGbsOQ— The Other Mike D (@dervack) April 11, 2017
This is such disrespect it's not even funny. this guy gave his all for Chicago even with all the hate, and you guys give his # away so soon? https://t.co/btMA9bKT25— Kyle (@kywes91) April 11, 2017
He also wore it during his brief stint in Denver. It's almost as if neither the Broncos nor Bears love Jay Cutler. https://t.co/NFqmvZZUOe— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) April 11, 2017