So who would trade for Jay Cutler?

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Has Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had a bad season?  Sure.  Does it still make him a lot better than plenty of starting quarterbacks elsewhere in the league?  Absolutely.

By benching Cutler for the last two games, the Bears are essentially ensconcing him in bubble wrap for the balance of the year.  The obvious goal is to trade him to another team that would inherit the obligation to pay Cutler a fully-guaranteed base salary of $15.5 million in 2015.

So who would trade for Cutler?  Glad you asked.  (Even if you didn’t.)

Before considering the teams, keep in mind that each NFL coach tends to believe that he can get more out of a player than any other NFL coach ever did.  Many of the current NFL coaches don’t have quality quarterbacks; those who don’t have a franchise quarterback are always looking for one.  Cutler has shown that he has the ability to be one.  Otherwise, the Bears wouldn’t have paid him $22.5 million for 2014.

Also, keep in mind that, as usual, the free-agent quarterback class will have no obvious star options.  The draft class doesn’t have many/any sure things.

The Bills, who don’t have a first-round draft pick to use on a quarterback, have Kyle Orton and EJ Manuel.  Is Cutler better than either of them?  Yes.

The Jets need a quarterback, and they may not be in position to take Marcus Mariota.  Given his history, Jameis Winston may not be the ideal major-market face of the franchise, except for the folks who own the tabloids.  Cutler and the New York media would also be a potentially combustible mix for different reason, but Cutler may be a better option than anything the Jets can find.

The Browns may decide they need a quarterback.  Is Cutler an upgrade over Johnny Manziel?  Based on what we say last Sunday, yes.

The Texans, who turned up their noses at Peyton Manning nearly three years ago, desperately need to improve at the position.  Cutler is clearly better than any option the Texans have.

The Titans perhaps make the most sense, given that Cutler played college football at Vanderbilt.  And given that the Titans currently are irrelevant.  And that their current quarterbacks are not good.

Cutler’s history with the Broncos and his rebel-without-a-care attitude could make him an ideal Raiders quarterback, but for the promise shown by Derek Carr.  Still, maybe the next coach/G.M. would be interested in rolling the dice in the short term on a guy who could become another Jim Plunkett for the franchise.

In the NFC, fewer obvious options emerge.  Washington seems to be committed to giving Robert Griffin III one more try.  The Bucs likely wouldn’t be interested, given coach Lovie Smith’s Chicago experiences with Cutler.

The sticking point could be compensation.  Any team interested in Cutler will know that the Bears want to unload his contract, and that they can only do it by trading him.  It means that the Bears should be willing to essentially give him away, if need be.

The fairest outcome could be to tie 2016 draft picks to Cutler’s performance in 2015.  If he plays at a high level, the new team gives up more.  If he performs like he did in 2014, maybe the new team gives up nothing.

Or maybe the Bears tie a draft pick to Cutler in order to get someone else to take on the contract.  It sounds ridiculous on the surface, but the Bears can do a lot more with that $15.5 million in cash and cap space than they could do with a low-round draft pick.

89 responses to “So who would trade for Jay Cutler?

  1. buffalo. open up the offense, and let him toss the ball around. if buffalo could get a good slot guy to go with watkins and woods, they’d have the makings of a prolific offense to go with that d

  2. Cutler has 38 million guaranteed reasons (22.5 this year and 15.5 next) to not worry about where his career goes next. Thankfully his contract has an offset provision but first the Bears have to find someone willing to pick him up.

    The other scenario, of course, is that he just retires.

  3. Mike Shanahan will return to coach the Bears and be reunited with Cutler and Brandon Marshall.

    Mike will also hire Jim Haslett to run his defense since Jim will be fired as soon as the clock reads 0:00 of the week 17 game against Dallas.

  4. This article really seems to miss why Cutler is being benched and his contract is viewed as a catastrophe by Bears fans. Its a view that others hold that Cutler really isnt that good. He has moments, but for the rest of the time, you care getting an introverted Jeff George. There is a reason that the Bears OC said what he did, but those who just look at Cutlers stats and picked him as their fantasy QB dont understand that.

    Cutler may have a higher floor than some other QBs mentioned above, but his ceiling is significantly lower than then the top 10 QBs in this league.

    A team like the Bills, with Orton working for them, would be insane to turn to Cutler and his high costs and baggage.

    Likewise the Bears would be misguided in attempting to extract more than a D2 pick for the opportunity to get out of this turkey of a contract.

  5. Or the rest of the leauge laughs at the bears for paying him so much money, and forces them to either pay him to sit, or cut him, then they can pick him up for no trade compensation, and sign him to a more team friendly contract

  6. You guys are forgetting that Cutler is terrible and past his prime, awful combination!!

  7. His big arm and Arians history with QBs make him and Arizona a great match. Palmer’s and Culter’s contracts would prevent that pairing.

  8. I have a question for bears fans. If Jimmy Clausen plays well, much like you last backup, do you keep trestman and blame cutler? I’m just wondering if maybe it’s the qb more than the coach.

  9. I’d laugh till I cried if the Cutler Orton trade happened again. I don’t know how but the broncos and the bears both lost on that trade. Usually there is one winner

  10. Don’t trade Jay ! Get rid of foosball nerd Marc Trestman & upgrade the offensive line, always a weak spot. WATCH THE MAGIC HAPPEN.

  11. I can only imagine what Cutler said to have this happen. It can’t be just his play. Everyone on that team has quit.

    Tampa is a logical destination. San Diego may need a QB. Romo’s back may land him out of football and Dallas could use him. Orton is on a one-year deal, so Buffalo is possible. Given what’s happening in Washington, I could see a “problem” trade involving RGIII for Cutler & some picks. Jets could be in play, as they’ve got cap room. Arizona doesn’t know who the next QB is from week to week but who knows after Palmer’s deal if they can absorb Cutler’s. Tennessee isn’t a lock to stay with their QBs.

    In short, there’s a lot of teams that could upgrade at QB getting Cutler on a functional football team.

  12. send em back to Nashville, he’s wearing that Vandy cap alot lately, I’m sure he’d love to be back in TN, Mettenberger hasnt proven himself yet

  13. So if the skins trade RGIII for Cutler – which I don’t see happening, BTW – and possibly throw in a pick as well (hey, they would be getting a lot of future picks with Cutler in return, right?), this would mean Cutler has been acquired for a cost of at least 3 first round and one second round picks. That would be classic Skins and Little Danny.

  14. I wouldn’t start him at QB at any level. With his talent and motivation he’s like a beautiful expensive sports car with no engine.

  15. I’ve said it 100 times…

    This scenario shows why pay-for-performance would be better all around.

    Jay Cutler… HIGHEST base salary in the NFL???
    More than Peyton, Tom, Andrew, Aaron???

    38 MIL over two years… 38 MIL for what we all watched Monday Night???
    38 MIL for being an interception machine???
    38 MIL for playing SO badly, your OC decides to take serious shots at you???
    38 MIL to get boo’d profusely in your own stadium… by your own fans???

    That’s messed up and broken. He actually ‘earned’ at best… a league MINIMUM salary.

  16. The surest way to make a functional team dysfunctional is sign Jay “cutlerception” There is something off with him mentally. There has always been something off with him. Yes, he has the physical tools to have become elite, but a QB normally is what he becomes after the 4th year and “cutlerception” is well beyond that point. He is not salvageable. Maybe if you put him in a situation where his main responsibility is to hand off the ball it could work, but relying on him to help you win an important game is a losing proposition. My prediction: the bears won’t be able to find anyone dumb enough to take him, he will have another disastrous year next year until the bench and/or cut him, he will be signed as a back up and then be out of the league in another couple of years.

  17. Clausen is going to bomb this next game and possibly the season finale.
    I doubt the Bears want to be stuck with Clausen as their only QB option.

  18. We all can agree that Cutler hasn’t played great year, that’s obvious. I think of at least 5 int’s this year that came at the end of the first half or the final 1:00 of the 4th qtr when down more than 1 score, so some stats are certainly inflated. The bigger issue for me, is having to watch that unit on the other side of the ball attempt to play defense. The Bears offense is put in a position to where they have to score 30+ points per game to even have a chance at victory. There is more than enough blame to go around on this Bears team than just focusing on Cutler.

  19. Buffalo is a deep-passing QB and one great O-Lineman away from being a regular in the playoffs. Truth.

  20. I like the options you have given here.

    The Bears need an offensive line. The Saints D destroyed them pressuring Cutler none stop.

    It will be interesting how this plays out, but it sure isn’t remotely all Jay’s fault.

  21. Buffalo doesn’t want him… Orton may not have the arm Cutler does, but he surely makes better decisions. We are hoping either Manuel gets up to speed or one of these decent QB’s falls to round 2 in the draft… Otherwise, I believe the Bills stick with Orton for one more season. With a full training camp/preseason under his belt, he should be even better than what he was after coming in late this year. No Cutler… he is way past his prime, makes bad decisions, has no team spirit and is highly overpaid. No Cutler!

  22. I was a Cutler supporter until about October of this year when the light finally came on. What you want in a QB is someone who inspires the people around them and lifts them to a higher level. With Cutler it’s exactly the opposite. He brings out the worst in people and makes them look worse than they are (although in the case of a lot of the Bears coaches, they actually are pretty bad to begin with.)

    All of which is to say… he seems to do some good things off the field and in the right environment he may still finish his career with some degree of success… but as a long time Bears fan and someone who stood in his corner longer than most… I’m glad he’s shipping out.

  23. Jay Cutler isn’t going anywhere…last desperate move by Trestman to prove its not him its Jay. He is doing what this coaching staff has done since OTAs, endorse dysfunctional conduct.

    Hopefully, the Trestman experiment is over! Trestman, Kromer, Tucker all fired come 29th.

  24. Al Davis will come back from the dead and offer two 1st round draft picks for him. The Washington Redskins will then up the ante and offer three first round draft picks and RGIII, Albert Hanesworth, and Donovan McNabb.

  25. Apparently no one on these boards has ever watched a Bears game. If you switch Cutler and Rodgers, the Bears are still garbage. No o-line, bad blocking, dumb penalties, dropped passes, the worst special teams in the world, and a Swiss cheese defense. Not a Cutler defender, I just have eyes.

  26. Bills trading for Cutler is moronic. He’s marginally better than what they have. And the Bills have an offensive line in shambles, which Cutler has proven he cant work with.

    Cutler has Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte & Martellus Bennett at his disposal and STILL sucks. Enough said.

  27. The best place is the Browns. It’s give them the excuse they need to not play Manzeil get Cutler in a familiar offense and make them competitive. I bet you he gets traded to an entirely horrible fit like my Redskins who have the need to trade their top pick for a hasbeen every single year.

  28. Cutler’s lack of preparation, undisciplined play, his apathetic and disgruntled attitude, his disrespect for coaches (Mike Tice) would make him a cancer in any locker room. Any team that acquires him would have a ceiling of an 8-8 season. You go NOWHERE with Cutler. Looking forward in his career, he’s going downhill, he’s regressing. There is no upside. Why would anyone want him other than as a backup? He’s an interception machine.

  29. The OL isn’t as bad as Cutler seems to think it is. He rushes throws and moves around unnecessarily. Still, it’s not great, and limits what Forte and the passing game can do.

    The defense is horrific. That’s not on Cutler and it’s only partly on Trestman.

    If I owned that team I’d fire Emery and the DC (Tucker is it?) and give Trestman and Cutler one more year. You’re paying Jay so you may as well put him in a good situation. I can’t see anyone paying him that contract and why should he restructure?

  30. The mistake everyone has always made with Cutler is trying to put him in the ‘elite/franchise’ QB category when he is neither, and never will be. What he CAN be is a serviceable, steady QB if he’s on a team with a killer defense, and not asked to carry the team with the offense. That’s why the Rams or Cardinals would be a good match for him – where the D does most of the work, and the O has to do just enough to win.

  31. Unless they fix the defense, offensive line, and start running the ball again – it doesn’t matter if it’s Cutler or anyone else. They’re a bad team.

    To me, Cutler falls into the same group as Dalton and Flacco. Good qb’s, but not great, and teams way overpaid to keep them, because they were successful enough. And all those teams didn’t want to go back to having guys like Craig Krenzel and Troy Smith start for them.

  32. Cutler has failed miserably each time he has been thrust into the Franchise QB role. That’s why he’s being shopped around, that’s why he’ll be on his 3rd team next year. Any coach/GM that takes him on will be fired within 20 months of signing the deal. The guy’s a good backup.

  33. Jay Cutler will never win a Super Bowl so why would any team waste the time and money on him?

    I’ve said the same thing about Peyton Manning. He’ll never win another Super Bowl because he doesn’t have enough gas left in the tank at the end of the season to get it done. He’ll tease the Broncos right up to the point he lays that playoff egg in the cold.

    If the goal is to win a title you go with a guy who you know at least has a chance to take you there and not a guy who you know will not.

  34. The thing is, who will the Bears replace him with? It’s not like there are a bunch of franchise QBs sitting down at the NFLPA unemployment office.

  35. The Green Bay Pack….oh wait. They’re the very last team in the NFL who would be trading for a QB right now.

  36. When Dilfer points out that Cutler is making continuous Rookie mistakes and then points out that he’s an 8 year vetaran…..You know that Cutler is just not going to improve.

    Cutler has an arm. But he is not making good decisions and his fundamentals and footwork are really regressing. He’s going backward and seemingly getting worse year-to-year.

    I honestly don’t think any team is going to trade for him.

  37. People seem to lose all sight in one thing who is out there, Yall wondering why Kapernick, Dalton et al get all these humongous contracts. Fact of the matter is that you need to show some ability, talent in order to get paid. Jay is not tripping, then again almost $40 mil guaranteed and a starting job still in Chicago or elsewhere is surely in the cards.

  38. As a Texans fan I’d take Ryan Mallett or Tom Savage over head case Cutler based on the limited viewing of what they did with the Texans this season.

  39. Unless they can get Mike Glennon there’s no way they should dump Cutler. Who’s gonna play qb in Chicago? Jake Locker? Josh Freeman? Jimmy Clausen? Christian Ponder? Kirk Cousins?

    I’m sure Brandon Marshall would be excited about a Chad Henne reunion!

    Get serious, people.

  40. how about nobody would trade for him, but I am sure if the bears cut him, he will sign on with somebody for about half that much

  41. Buffalo doesn’t want him or need him. If we can find a guy to play one year, fine. Cutler doesn’t fit in Buffalo. EJ Manuel will be the week one starter, and the starter for a very long time in Buffalo after that.

    EJ’s problems were very fixable, and after getting more work and more time, he is going to be great. I personally think they should go back to him now, or hopefully Orton goes down (terrible to say I know) and EJ comes in and wins out.

  42. I’d take him in Houston, but the salary would give another opportunity for Rick Smith to mismanage the salary cap.

    Reporter – “Rick, how were you able to fit Jay into your pay structure?”

    Rick – “We cut JJ Watt”.

  43. Cut-her always seems to hate the game. Like it’s a chore. Why would anyone want him? Brandon Marshall HAS got be saying…I gotta get out from the shadow of this guy. Cut-her stinks. it’s plain and simple. The bears deserve this for paying the moron all that money.

  44. cutler, a 2nd rounder and 10 million to the redskins for McCoy and a conditional 5th rounder. crappy deal for the bears but that is what they are looking at if they want to get out from under cutler

  45. Say what you want about Cutler and Marshall, little story here.

    2 years ago, the Bears are playing Jacksonville.
    A Bear fan traveling to see the team on the road, dies when a man stabs him to death at a sports bar.

    What do Marshall and Cutler do when they hear this story, they pay off the existing mortgage payment of the wife who lost her husband and the children who lost their father.

    Yeah, they have the money to do so, but it shows they do have a heart !

  46. Lets start with the new GM. This idiot lets Lovie Smith go…WE LOVED LOVIE you idiot! No disrespect to Trestman, I believe this man is a good coach…but his strengths are as a OC.
    Jay Cutler is a solid talent but he doesn’t have “IT”. Never has and never will..Hard to swallow for my fellow Hoosier, but its just the truth! I dont care how we get rid of long as he goes!…

    We have no voice on the offensive side and we have no voice on the defensive side…but most of all we have NO leadership on the field period..And if your QB can’t rally the team…He aint no starter in the this league…I look at Russell Wilson and the man oozes Leadership…we have none!

  47. As bad as Cutler has looked, all you have to do is look at someone like Mark Sanchez, who bombed in NY but is doing well in Philly or Matt Flynn who got fired from Seattle, Oakland and Buffalo before returning to Green Bay. Maybe Jay will do well elsewhere- he couldn’t go worse!

  48. Jets need to rekindle hope, and Woody has gone for a one-year trial with a veteran (Favre) once before. At worst Jets break even with additional sales of merchandise etc. Even Cutler would realize its a make or break year. So does that mean Shanahan (junior or senior) as ‘HC of NYJ’ as Belichick put it so succinctly in 2000?

  49. When Dilfer points out that Cutler is making continuous Rookie mistakes and then points out that he’s an 8 year veteran

    please dilfer wishes he had the talent jay has.

  50. Im not sure exactly why the Raiders were even brought up in this article. Oh, i see your point about a new coach/GM wanting “their” guy but that overlooks facts.

    McKenzie is securing the Harbaugh to Oakland move. Once he does, his job is safe for two more years. What he did in regards to the finances went a long way with Mark. And though its not showing fully on the field, the player contracts and cap space still leave the Raiders with a lot of leeway.

    I always thought that the reason he didnt spend huge last offseason was because he planned on a new coach in 2015, unless Allen pulled a miracle 2014 (he didnt. And neither has sparano).

    In any event, ive been a raiders fan since the late 80s, religiously, unwavering.

    But if carr isnt the QB next year, i might start buying Lions gear.

  51. Or the other option, get the defense rebuilt, add some O line help and give him another chance. Dumping him also means you no longer have a QB either or if you get one its starting all over again

  52. Like dfeltz said – at LEAST 5 of Cutler’s interceptions are hail mary last hope affairs. Sorry folks, but desperation throws when you are down by several scores don’t count.

    The fact is, the only reason anyone can claim Cutler had a bad year is by the interceptions. Take off the desperation throws and he had a very good year.

    Trestman’s offense ruined the 95-96 49ers after their 94 super bowl. Shanahan left the OC job and Steve Yound had 39 TD passes – Trestman took over and in 95 there were 20 TD passes followed by 12 TD passes in 96. The fact is no NFL QB has every improved in Trestman’s offense in the 2nd year BUT Cutler.

    I cant even count the number of 4th quarter comebacks the guy has with that no talent Bears team. No heart? Can’t rally the team? BS!! We all saw the 49er and Jets games this year.

    You could have any QB in Chicago and he would look bad. The line blocks like a girl scout troop that had a few too many smores and shots of tequila. The coaches are all idiots. The receivers were … who were they again? Thats right – nobody knows their names!! You had Martz, and he and Cutler took a bunch of no talent hacks to the playoffs – Martz got fired as a reward. Before you start – Cutler has said numerous times in public he and Martz still talk …

    There is always a problem in Chicago. No line (still a problem), no receivers until last year – but you saddled them all with Trestman and Kromer? You call that a defense? Mel Tucker? Honestly? And you listen to Rich Gannon? The Gannon of the 5 super bowl interceptions and the 4 pick sixes – in one super bowl! Gannon is STILL not allowed to visit the Raiders facility. Trent Dilfer? He threw more interceptions than TD’s and has about a 45% life time completion percentage. That guy does well to hit the ground with a pass …

    You get rid of Cutler you’ll be in the cellar for a decade …

    Hire Shanahan .. or trade Cutler to someplace that needs a QB and go get McCown. The citizens of Tampa absolutely can not wait to send you McClown! If Trestman’s offense was so great with McCown – why did Chicago lose the games to the cellar teams and couldn’t score over 20 points?

    BTW .. you could see the offenses building trouble with McCown. They couldn’t sustain drives and started throwing those stupid hail mary jump balls as a means to get the ball past midfield and into the red zone. McCown had one good game – Dallas. Dallas stunk .. otherwise, McCown scored about 20 points a game .. over a 10 point fall from Cutler. Those hail mary jump balls were going to stop working, it was inevitable.

    The worst thing that has ever happened to Cutler in his life? The day that poor man became a Bear. The Packers must say a prayer every night before bed and it ends .. “Thank you God that you did not make me play for Chicago”

    Please trade Cutler so I never have to watch him play for Chicago again …

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