Jay Cutler would have plenty of leverage over trade discussions

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Once it became clear that coach John Fox would return for a third season with the Bears, it became even more clear that quarterback Jay Cutler would not be back for a ninth. Now that the word is out regarding the team’s effort to find a trade partner for Cutler, the first question becomes whether the Bears will find one.

The second question becomes whether Cutler will accept it.

Yes, if he wants to earn a $12.5 million salary and up to $2.5 million in per-game roster bonuses, he will. But if he chooses not to show up at his next destination, Cutler won’t have to return a penny of the $54 million he received over the last three years. With no signing bonus on the deal he signed three years ago, there’s no obligation to return any of the compensation paid to Cutler under the terms of the contract.

It gives Cutler plenty of leverage, preventing the Bears from simply dumping him onto any team that will take him, regardless of whether Cutler has any desire to play there.

Ten years ago, the player Cutler supplanted in Denver — Jake Plummer — was traded to the Buccaneers against his wishes. Plummer retired, he didn’t earn a salary of $5.3 million, and he eventually paid back $3.5 million of $7 million in bonus money as part of a settlement with Tampa Bay. With no such complication for Cutler, he can slam the brakes on any trade by simply saying, “I’m not going there.”

It’s always better for a player to be a free agent, and that could be the end result of his time with the Bears. Then the question becomes whether anyone wants Cutler at all.

The team that makes the most sense continues to be the 49ers, where former teammate John Lynch is now the G.M. and the son of the man who drafted Cutler 11 years ago is now the head coach.

21 responses to “Jay Cutler would have plenty of leverage over trade discussions

  1. Did you see the picture of him with his wife on vacation recently. He looked FAT. A girly man. What team in the right would want this has been. A million arm and a 5 cent head. No leadership skills in the locker room whatsoever. Heck I would rather have Jay Cutler, the other famed Jay Cutler (the former professional bodybuilder) as my quarterback for a team. Bet he’ll do better.

  2. They say opposite attract. I guess that’s true. His wife is vivacious and seems courteous (at least portrayed in the press) and he is Mr. Sulky (low confidence) mood, a cancer in the locker room.

  3. Not that Cutler is elite or anything but if the Bears trade him they are already throwing in the towel for next season without a QB to replace him. He’s middle of the road and his pay is really average at this point.

  4. It isn’t shocking that the Bears are trying to unload Cutler, but it is odd that the news came out so early in the offseason. The Eagles traded Bradford for a 1st rounder last year, after training camp. Cutler isn’t due anything (afaik) until his roster bonuses during the regular season… why not show a poker face and keep him up until training camp?!

    A league that employs Bortles, Gabbert, Goff, Kessler, Siemian, and Osweiler has space for Jay. The question is who is smart enough to harness his talents. Paging Kyle Shanahan: are you as good of a coach as Adam Gase? 🙂

  5. Jay’s body has been crushed behind bad, and I mean bad, offensive lines for the past several years. He may not be a great guy, but he’s taken a beating. Wouldn’t blame him one bit if he said he’s had enough.

  6. .
    Sign the offensive line from Cooke County Community College and make him take every snap behind them. It’s the only way Bears fans can get value out of Cutler.

  7. Mike wants Cutler to be Teddy”s backup up there in Minnesota ayyy, but no way does Detroit let Cutler slip their fingers. Cutler will be a huge improvement over unreliable Stafford who never can win in the playoffs. Jay’s playoff experience far exceeds anything Stafford has done.

  8. 49ers? More likely Jets or Jags. Cutler is the commiseration-prize to whichever desperate QB-less team doesn’t bag Romo.

    Yesterday, a 2:1 majority of thumbers agreed with the mad notion that “it makes sense” Belichick would take Cutler (plus a 2nd-round) for JimmyG so that Cutler could be veteran cover for Brady! Why? They already have JimmyG (and JacobyB), plenty of picks (despite Fraudger stealing two) and plenty of cash, and Brady’s body-age is probably younger than Cutler’s. Sorry Bears’ fans.

  9. 49 ers can’t be serious about signing this loser, than again k .shanahan just blew a 25 point lead halfway thru the third quarter….they would be crazy not to pursue jimmy g. and give the patriots multiple picks, this kid is going to command high draft picks….book it.

  10. At this point, Cutler is a placeholder or a McCown type that some team takes while it’s developing a draft pick. That’s worth a later round draft pick, maybe a 5th. They should let Cutler and his agent find a deal somewhere for a late 5th or early 6th.

  11. This guy just keeps making his money, with this leverage he has no reason to go anywhere other than his choice since said team will dump more money into his bank account once the cut is forced.

  12. it would fun if he ended up with the niners and a coach who actually designed a offense that fit his skills and helped them turn it around. you know like the broncos did when he played for them and made him one of the best young qb’s in the game. the kind that made the bears trade for him in the first place only to say that was nice but we don’t do that here. hand the ball off every play then throw a wide receiver screen to the kick returner on third down. seriously why would you give up what they did then not run a offense that featured what he did best? that is like telling rodgers do not throw the ball deep and if lovie were his coach he would tell him we get off the bus running and if you must throw it then it can no longer than a 5 yard pass. and if you throw it to the tight end then you can only do it once a game. Cutler has his faults but it he is not solely to blame for the bears not winning during his time there.

  13. Da Bears are throwing in the towel if they keep him.

    58-70 WITH CUTLER and nothing but crash and burn for 3 seasons… with different OCs…. Turner, Martz, Tice Trestman, Gase.

    Do any of you supporters think they would do much worse than recent seasons?

    Cmon man, move on.

  14. Why should he retire?
    Just take the 12.5MM and not put much effort into the game. Don’t study much tape or practice at night. Just milk his contract the way Darell Revis did with the Jets or Alber Haynesworth did with Washington.
    Then retire.

  15. He didn’t react all that well in Denver when he learned they were talking trade, so I can’t imagine he’s going to be all that cooperative the second time around if he doesn’t like the destination.

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