The Jay Cutler era in Chicago is about to come to a close. Adam Schefter (via Jeff Darlington) reported on Tuesday that the Bears are “seeking a trade partner” for the veteran quarterback.
Statistically speaking, Cutler is the best QB in Bears franchise history, although it must be said that Chicago’s portfolio of quarterbacks isn’t very good. He holds team records for most career passing yards (23,443), most passing touchdowns (154), highest completion percentage (61.8%), and QB rating (85.2). His two touchdown passes against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2011 NFC Divisional Round are tied with Steve Walsh, Steve Fuller, and Jim McMahon for the most TDs thrown by a Bears QB in a single Super Bowl-era playoff game. I swear I am not making that statistic up.
Cutler’s has not started a full season in the NFL since 2009, his first year with Chicago after he was traded by the Denver Broncos. His only postseason appearance came in 2010, with the aforementioned win over Seattle, followed by a loss at home to Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game. Cutler injured his knee during the defeat, which led to Todd Collins subbing in for him, only for Collins to get injured and replaced by notorious interception expert Caleb Hanie. This is the last time either Cutler or the Bears have experienced postseason football.
Cutler is going to be 34 years old by the time next season rolls around. He only played five games in 2016 due to numerous injuries, and wasn’t performing well when he did play. Next year will be Cutler’s twelfth in the NFL, during which time his body has taken an absolute battering year in and year out.
Seahawks fans will obviously keep close tabs on if any NFC West rival is willing to acquire Cutler. Arizona is reportedly not interested, which is no surprise given they already have Carson Palmer returning next season. The Rams have a new head coach, 2016’s #1 overall pick Jared Goff is expected to lead the team, so trading for Cutler certainly wouldn’t be a vote of confidence for Goff, even if Cutler is arguably better than anyone the Rams have right now. Last up would be the San Francisco 49ers, who will most likely be moving on from Colin Kaepernick. Kyle Shanahan indicated that he doesn’t want a “short-term fix” as far as finding a franchise quarterback. Cutler would at least be a stopgap and is surely not a viable long-term solution for any team.
For a little Field Gulls flashback, you should check out this 2009 offseason thread where the community discusses whether or not the team should trade for Cutler. Times sure have changed for both Cutler and the Seahawks.