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Jay Cutler's last year as a Bear? Believe it when you see it

A headline in the Sun-Times’ Bears preview section was tantalizing on the topic of Jay Cutler:

“If he’s not an instant hit with Fox, it could be his last season in Chicago’’

We know Cutler to be a bad, recurring dream, of which there is no escape, so is somebody teasing us? The quarterback possibly on his way out of town? How many times have we heard that and gotten our hopes up? Where’s the hidden camera waiting to capture our Charlie Brown gullibility?

At this point, I can’t picture life without Cutler. This will be his seventh season in Chicago, and he is our reality. I’ll believe him to be gone when I see his name on the transactions wire. And maybe not even then. If general manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox do get rid of him, I will have phantom pain for years afterward.

Everyone is talking about a scaled-back, buttoned-down Cutler on the field this season. No guns, no slinging, we’re told. No more rash stuff from the man who led the NFL in turnovers last season, we’re told. So many other worries on this team, we’re told.

Uh-huh. Sure.

I’m not saying Cutler is incapable of cutting down on his interceptions. But there is no offensive system that can tame him, no offensive coordinator who can change the quarterback’s stripes into spots.

Cutler has all sorts of talent. We’ve heard that every year, and there’s truth to it. But he’s 32, and all that talent hasn’t won out over his football minuses. We know what he is. It’s why we have clumps of hair in our hands.

His defenders have said the same thing every year: “What other quarterback is out there?’’ That’s not an endorsement. That’s a surrender.

This could be Cutler’s last season in Chicago? Why must you torment us so, Mr. Headline Writer?