The Bears have one more week to decide whether to keep Jay Cutler on the roster and commit the $10 million he’s owed for the 2016 season.
Until then, new head coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace can chew on these comments by former Bears coaches, all in agreement that Chicago can’t win with Cutler.
According to an ESPN report, at least 10 different coaches from the Lovie Smith and Marc Trestman eras have said the Bears “can’t consistently compete for championships as long as it fields a lineup with Jay Cutler under center.”
Cutler declined comment to ESPN, and two current teammates “characterized Cutler as a divisive figure with whom they’d rather not continue to play.”
Another coach told ESPN that the Bears could win with Cutler if they handcuff him to a system.
Fox and Pace declined to commit to Cutler when asked about the quarterback at the NFL scouting combine two weeks ago.
Some may view the disparaging remarks from Cutler’s former coaches as sour grapes on the part of scorned staffers. Nobody on the current staff has told Cutler he’s on the way out or that his tenure in Chicago is in jeopardy. But every one of the former staffers interviewed from the Smith and Trestman regimes pointed out similar flaws in the quarterback. Two R words — renegade and rogue — were often used by the former staffers when asked about Cutler’s ability to play within the confines of an offensive system. They all also questioned Cutler’s leadership abilities. One former staffer said McCown was the offense’s leader in the locker room during his final season in Chicago, adding that for Cutler it’s just not him to embrace such a role. The staffer said that Cutler doesn’t have to be a leader for the team to succeed.
Read the full ESPN report here.