Nov 13, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) looks on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Chicago Bears 36-10. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Bears may be considering all trade options for Jay Cutler, but here’s a look at five teams that need to avoid acquiring the veteran quarterback.
After eight seasons, it looks like Jay Cutler‘s time with the Chicago Bears could be coming to an end with the team reportedly exploring trade options for the veteran quarterback. When looking at the way things have turned out over the last three seasons with the team finishing at the bottom of the NFC North, and combining for just 14 wins, it’s clear the Bears are in need of a change at quarterback.
Whether Cutler still has what it takes to be an effective starter at the NFL, that’s a different story since the veteran is coming off a 2016 season in which he was limited to playing in just five games for Chicago. With that being said, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a hand full of teams that would bring Cutler on board in a heartbeat at the right price when looking at their current quarterback situations, with the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals coming to mind right away.
However, there are also a number of teams in need of help at quarterback that would be making a hug mistake by acquiring Cutler to be their starter for the 2017 season. Cutler has seen success at times throughout his 11-year career, but he also brings some baggage to the table, as last year alone is the perfect example of how much of a distraction he can be to some of his teammates.
If the Bears do in fact find a trade partner for Cutler during the offseason, here’s a look at the top teams that need to avoid acquiring the veteran quarterback, starting off with the Denver Broncos as an honorable mention.
Sep 18, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) in the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Honorable Mention: Denver Broncos
Of all the teams in the NFL that desperately need improvement at the quarterback position, the Denver Broncos may be the longest shot at going after Jay Cutler due to their history, but that doesn’t mean they don’t at least deserve honorable mention for this list. Even if all of the drama took place a long time ago, the chances of Broncos willing to go back down that road with Cutler again seem extremely slim.
Then again, it’s hard not to wonder if Cutler would consider putting his ego again for another opportunity to play for an offense loaded with weapons in the passing game. Most quarterbacks would do anything to be in a situation like Denver in which Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were the top options to work with at wide receiver, which is why Cutler would be foolish not to even consider the possibility.
One year after winning the Super Bowl thanks to having one of the greatest defenses of all time, it was embarrassing to see the Broncos fail to even make the playoffs last season. With a better situation at quarterback other than Trevor Siemian, the argument be made that Denver would have been able to extend their season deep into January with another chance at representing the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Who knows, maybe if Cutler were in the picture next year, Denver would have a chance to bounce back, and make it back to the playoffs to give the New England Patriots another run for their money.
At the beginning of last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars were considered a potential sleeper team to keep an eye on in the AFC after the impressive numbers displayed by Blake Bortles in 2015 in which the quarterback threw for 4,428 yards to go along with 35 touchdowns. Even if most of those numbers came during garbage time, many believed Bortles was ready to elevate the Jaguars to the level of contenders this past season, which obviously didn’t happen.
Not only did Bortles take a major step back by only throwing 23 touchdown passes, but Jacksonville struggled overall as a team after only winning three games all season. And now that Doug Marrone has officially taken over as head coach for the team, Bortles’ job seems anything but safe.
One of the main reasons why there was so much hype surrounding Bortles and the Jaguars was the duo the quarterback was fortunate enough to work with on offense in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. After failing to take advantage of having these two wide receivers in the passing game, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Jacksonville would upgrade from Bortles in heartbeat if given the opportunity.
Does that mean Jay Cutler would consider a trade to the Jaguars? Joining a team with wideouts like Robinson and Hurns may seem tough to turn down, but chances are Cutler would be unhappy over the development this team needs to deal with over the next season or two.
Speaking of teams that seem to be a few years away from being contenders, the Cleveland Browns should consider themselves lucky for escaping the wrong side of NFL history after almost going winless in 2016. All signs pointed to the Browns joining the Detroit Lions as the only team to finish 0-16 before pulling off a victory over the San Diego Chargers in Week 16.
When it comes to teams with quarterback issues, it’s tough to top a team like the Browns when seeing how many different players they’ve attempted to work with over the years, only to end up being a failure. Just take a look at what happened this year with Robert Griffin III as the former first-round pick went from being the team’s answer during the preseason to finding himself limited to five games after suffering a shoulder injury in Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Between finishing in the bottom of the AFC North in 12 of the last 14 seasons along with only recording more than five wins once since the 2008 season, would Cleveland really consider the possibility of Jay Cutler coming on board for the 2017 season? If the veteran was frustrated over the struggles of the Chicago Bears over the last few years, just imagine how fast he would become a headache as a member of the Browns.
Come on, is there even a reason to explain why Jay Cutler joining the New York Jets would be a terrible idea? The last thing the Jets need to deal with is a trip down memory lane for Cutler and Brandon Marshall, who happens to be the No. 1 wideout on the Jets and played with the veteran as a member of the Chicago Bears for three seasons.
Acquiring Marshall from the Miami Dolphins prior to the 2012 season was an amazing move for the Bears at the time when considering the wideout caught 218 passes for 2,803 yards and 23 touchdowns over his first two seasons with the team. But everything would eventually go south for Marshall as the wideout would go on to be traded to the Jets after the 2014 season.
Clearly, there were some issues between Cutler and Marshall towards the end of their time together in Chicago, and even though whatever happened took place a few years ago, chances are it wouldn’t take long before it became an issue again if they were both in New York. If the Jets were smart, they would focus on the upcoming draft to figure out their issues at quarterback instead of risking the potential drama that Cutler would bring on for the 2017 season.
During the second half of the 2016 season, the Miami Dolphins were considered one of the hottest teams in football after finding a way to make the postseason after a 10-6 finish, despite losing four of their first five games to start the year. Unfortunately, the Dolphins suffered a major blow on offense after Ryan Tannehill a devastating knee injury towards the end of the regular season, forcing the team to go with Matt Moore at quarterback.
Whether Tannehill will be ready to go for the start of the 2017 season is still unknown, but if he does end up being healthy enough to go, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be capable of helping Miami make another run at the playoffs in the AFC. Prior to the injury, Tannehill was having quite the impressive year for the Dolphins and played a major role in helping the team turn their season around after that awful start.
There may be some concerns heading into training camp, but when comparing whether the team would be better off sticking with Tannehill or taking a risk on a veteran like Jay Cutler just in case, it’s a no brainer. For Miami’s sake, the best option at the time seems to be having patience over their current quarterback, and hope he bounces back even stronger after rehabbing in the offseason.
Feb 9, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan pose for a photo during a press conference at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
1. San Francisco 49ers
When it comes to organizations that look like a complete mess, it’s difficult to top the decisions made by the San Francisco 49ers over the last couple of years. That includes the surprising move from a few weeks ago when they made John Lynch general manager of the team. On the bright side, at least the team was smart enough to take a chance on offensive mastermind Kyle Shanahan as their new head coach. But even after looking at how successful he was the last two seasons, the 49ers are still a long way from truly being contenders.
Between only winning seven games over their last two seasons to the lack of weapons in the passing game, any quarterback joining San Francisco for the 2017 season will most likely deal with their struggles and frustrations. The fact that Jeremy Kerley led the team last year with only 667 receiving yards shows how weak the 49ers offense was, and chances are it’s not going to improve any time soon.
The team may be desperate to find a new quarterback since Colin Kaepernick clearly is far from the answer, but bringing on someone like Jay Cutler would only make the situation in San Francisco worse for the organization. When hearing about his attitude and lack of leadership skills that reportedly became an issue during the 2017 season, why would the 49ers even consider the unnecessary problems that Cutler could bring at quarterback?