Jay Cutler is in the midst of his eighth season as quarterback of the Chicago Bears. Chicago has just one playoff appearance under Cutler – and none since 2010. The Bears went 5-11 in 2014, 6-10 in 2015 and are off to an 0-2 start – with no reason for optimism – in 2016.
Is it safe to say that Cutler is the Bears’ biggest problem?
“When you want to give a guy a bunch of money, you have to ask yourself, ‘Does he make other people better?’ And the answer is no,” The NFL Today analyst Bart Scott said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “You have to ask yourself, ‘Does he make himself better?’ And the answer is no. He (flamed) out four years ago. We saw his best years, to me, in Denver. Once he got to Chicago, he’s just been a guy. He’s been a guy with all the talent who makes fundamental mistakes, who turns the ball over and seems to not care. Didn’t try to come back in the game (against Philadelphia on Monday). I thought when he hurt his thumb, he was looking for a way out. But now you’re stuck with him.”
Since the beginning of the 2014 season, Cutler, 33, has thrown for 50 touchdowns and 31 interceptions. For his career, he has a losing record (67-69) and has made the playoffs just once.
If you’re a Bears fan, those numbers can’t inspire much confidence.
“You talk about all the young teams that are probably going to finish in the basement,” Scott said. “I don’t know who’s worse – them or Cleveland. But at least Cleveland has an excuse. Cleveland doesn’t have a supposedly franchise quarterback. They don’t have their No. 1 receiver that’s there. They don’t have their young receiver anymore because (Corey) Coleman broke his hand. He doesn’t have an excuse. Why they got rid of (Martellus) Bennett, I have no idea. If you want to have a (great) offense, you want to have a great tight end and a young receiver in White and then Alshon Jeffery is one of the better receivers in the league. (Eddie) Royal is a guy you can use in the slot. Why they got rid of Matt Forte, I have no idea. Are you tying to rebuild and restart with an 11-year quarterback? To me, it seems like you’d be more win-now. They can’t protect him. (John) Fox is known for getting a team back to respectability, but this is going to be a longer project than they anticipated.”
Scott believes the Bears will be irrelevant as long as Cutler is their quarterback.
“I don’t see any help coming until they make that tough decision to move on,” he said. “Because now they’re going to be in the basement and they’re going to be in a position where the kid from Louisville (Lamar Jackson) is going to be out there, the guy (Deshaun) Watson is going to be out there, I’m sure another quarterback is going to emerge. They’re going to say ‘We got ours’ and somebody else is going to move up and get their answer.”
The Bears play the Cowboys (1-1) in Dallas on Sunday Night Football. Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET.