Tuck: Bears Smart To Keep Cutler
In football, you can't just concern yourself with what is in front of you. From a players standpoint, you have to think about all the moving pieces. Not just where they are now, but how they will once the ball is snapped. Your actions should reflect your anticipation of the action.
As a coach, you don't just think of the current down. You think of how it affects the next play and setting up that drive and likely even a play-call in the second half of the game.
That brings me to the job of Bears GM Phil Emery. He not only has to weigh how much Jay Cutler is worth to his team based on dollars and cents, but also what he is worth to the team compared to his replacement. Plus, who is the replacement, how much he costs, and where does he come from? He also has to consider how Cutler stacks up against what other teams would pay him. Also to be considered is what it means to 2014 as much as what it means to 2015 and beyond.
When you consider that the Bears offense ranked 2nd in scoring and 8th in yards, you got a good thing going that with the youth around Cutler has a chance to be even better next year. Why mess with that?
10 of the NFL's top 12 scoring teams made the playoffs. The Bears didn't mainly because of their defense and injuries on that side of the ball. This isn't a time to rebuild around a new quarterback.
I've read the numbers about QBR, and age, and wins and losses in regular season and postseason for Cutler, and it's all good. Numbers are used to create a point for the person presenting them. I am choosing to give you numbers that I think represent the big picture. Chicago's offense was great this year. Do you really want to find another quarterbacknow?
How does Matt Cassel sound? Matt Schaub? Ryan Mallett? Blaine Gabbert? Brandon Weeden? Draft a rookie? When? Bring back Josh McCown and start him for the year??? Stop me when you're satisfied.
Quarterback is a position you overpay for. Jay Cutler doesn't need to justify his place in the pecking order based on dollars. That's dumb because the way we rank players changes year to year and money paid out has never exactly been about actual value/worth/talent. Some of the best young players in the league are paid nothing compared to some older more established players, even if they aren't as good. It's what you've done, how long you've been around, and how you fit into the team that needs you's plans.
Chicago would be wise to draft another quarterback to develop this year or next. Most teams seem to bring in a young guy every year to kick the tires. It's called preventive maintenance as well planning ahead. Cutler doesn't have to be the Bears quarterback for the next 7 years. He just needs to be Jay Cutler for a few years as the team around him gets better. And you'll take your chances with that.
Even if you don't like him, don't think he is worth the money, or don't think you can win with him, his replacement isn't evident. I know if I was Houston I'd have made him a big offer and used my 1st overall pick on Jadaveon Clowney. I am sure other QB-needy teams, you know, the teams that are letting all their old, used quarterbacks go, would have loved to take a shot at Jay Cutler. If teams are fighting over the guy you don't want, maybe you should want him more.
Nothing is promised or guaranteed. Plenty of HOF quarterbacks never win Super Bowls. Plenty of questionable ones have. But every team wants to give itself the best chance available to them to get that guy so they can get that trophy. Based on what we know in 2014, Chicago did just that by keeping Cutler.