Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has rubbed a lot of his coaches the wrong way during his time in Chicago, and now they’re ripping him in the media — but not putting their names behind their criticism.
ESPN cites “at least 10 former Chicago Bears staffers from the Lovie Smith and Marc Trestman regimes” who say they don’t think the Bears can contend for a title with Cutler as the quarterback. None of those “at least 10” are mentioned by name.
In addition, two teammates, also speaking anonymously, say they’d rather not keep playing with Cutler.
The reasons for all the animosity toward Cutler seem to stem from his personality, as those who have worked with him say he lacks leadership qualities and is not a positive presence in the Bears’ locker room. There’s also talk that he didn’t run the offense the way the coaches wanted, and that in hindsight some people within the organization think Cutler should have lost his starting job to Josh McCown in 2013.
Of course, that hindsight is diametrically opposed to what everyone was saying at the time: The Bears’ coaches and executives said in 2013 that Cutler was clearly the right man for the job, which was why they gave him a huge contract extension. Now that huge contract is a millstone around the Bears’ necks. It won’t be easy for the Bears to move on from Cutler any time soon, as his $15.5 million 2015 base salary is fully guaranteed, and $10 million of his $16 million 2016 base salary becomes fully guaranteed if he’s still on the Bears’ roster a week from now.
New Bears General Manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox haven’t committed to Cutler as their starting quarterback, but realistically, if he’s still on the team in a week, the Bears are probably stuck with him not just for this year, but for next year as well. Even if those who know Cutler best don’t think highly of him, he’s probably not going anywhere.