Jay Cutler, also known as Mr. Unpopular, is coming off surgery on his right shoulder. The Bears are trying to unload him, and NFL teams are not jumping at the chance to obtain the supremely talented (and supremely moody) Cutler.
He turns 34 in April. In other words, he’s 51/2 years younger than Tom Brady. He could be enjoying the middle of his prime. Instead, he’s in NFL limbo.
Cutler in limbo.
Those are strange words to type.
When Cutler departed Colorado in 2009, he was massively controversial, but seemed destined for big things. He had everything. He’s a superlative athlete who starred in baseball, football and basketball in high school. He has a quick release and a mighty arm. He’s big enough (unlike Trevor Siemian) to survive in the brutal world of the pocket.
Somehow, he managed to turn himself into a villain to most, if not all, Bronco fans.
John Koury, a resident of the Springs’ west side, is a devout Bronco fan.
“I hope Cutler loses every game he ever plays,” Koury told me in 2009. “He likes himself a lot more than his record deserves.”
Koury sums up the general view of Cutler, who has been successful at creating enemies in Colorado and Illinois.
Still, Cutler could again have his day. In 2014 and 2015, he threw for 49 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions while earning solid QB ratings (88.6 and 92.1) for weak Bears teams. NFL history is filled with allegedly over-the-hill QBs (hello, Peyton Manning) who delivered in the sunset seasons of their careers.
I’m not a Cutler fan, but it’s a testament to his talent that he’s seen as an underachiever. He’s thrown for 208 touchdowns and 32,467 yards, but he’s still considered a modern day Jeff George: A huge talent who never quite found a way to live up to all of those gifts.
I don’t see the Bears being successful in trying to trade Cutler. He’s due $12.5 million in salary in 2017 with another $2.5 million in potential bonuses. If a team trades for Cutler, that team will be on the hook for his big, if not massive, salary.
If the Bears cut Cutler, the team that claims him can renegotiate his 2017 salary. The remnants of the $123 million contract he signed in 2013 are not guaranteed.
John Lynch is the new general manager for the downtrodden 49ers, who desperately need a quarterback.
Will Lynch sign Cutler, his former teammate with the Broncos?
Stay tuned, and be sure of this: The Jay Cutler show never is boring.