The clock is ticking on the Jay Cutler contract extension talks, and it doesn’t seem likely that anything will get done until the end of the season. But is there reason to worry that nothing may get done at all? The bottom line is, it would be foolish for the Chicago Bears to let Cutler walk at the end of the season without throwing anything and everything that they have at him.
The Bears have seemingly been without a franchise quarterback since bad-boy Jim McMahon, who was a part of the ’85 Super Bowl Championship team. An assortment of brutally bad quarterbacks followed after McMahon’s departure. Erik Kramer, Cade McNown, Jim Miller, Kordell Stewart (long out of his prime), and Rex Grossman are just some of the names that were unable to get it done in Chicago at the quarterback position. Yes, Grossman’s team in 2006 went to the Super Bowl, but it was mostly because of the dominant play of the defense and special teams.
Jay Cutler has all the necessary skills to win a Super Bowl, but he wasn’t surrounded by the talent it required in his first few years with Chicago. Bringing in Brandon Marshall last year was a huge success, as he clearly was Cutler’s favorite target – the two are best friends both on and off the field. But with no other receiver able to step up, Cutler and the Bears offense could only do so much last year. With a healthy Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett in the slot, along with newly added tight end Martellus Bennett, Cutler will have more options in 2013.
The 30-year-old gun slinger out of Vanderbilt needs to show improvement this year, especially taking care of the ball. But even if Cutler is unable to give the Bears their first Super Bowl win since the memorable ’85 season, there is no way they can afford to let go of him.
Unless Phil Emery and the rest of the team are ready to go back to the likes of Rex Grossman and company, Cutler’s contract must be the number one off field priority for Chicago. With no viable backup – the current backup is Josh McCown – the Bears could be in trouble if Cutler himself wants to leave. However, he has made it clear that he is happy with his current situation, especially with close friend Marshall on the team. The new weapons for Cutler should lead to much more success and happiness for him and the team in the 2013 season. Fans better hope so. If not, there is that slim chance the Bears will be searching for a new quarterback. It’s highly unlikely, but anything can happen within the next year.