GM who drafted Jay Cutler shares current thoughts on the Bears QB
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler takes a lot of criticism from those who are not in a position to be doling out judgment. However, one man who is qualified to assess Cutler’s game is the general manager who originally drafted him.
Ted Sudquist was the Denver Broncos’ GM when they drafted Cutler with the 11th-overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. He has since watched the Vanderbilt product put together a pretty lengthy NFL career.
Writing in a special to Bleacher Report, Sudquist explained his decision to draft Cutler. He revealed a lot of behind-the-scenes information that went into the pick and detailed the events that led to the trade with Chicago.
Near the end, Sundquist provided his current assessment of Cutler’s quarterbacking:
He has had five offensive coordinators in seven seasons with the Bears. He's currently working for his third head coach-general manager combination. Since coming to Chicago, Cutler has seen the Bears draft 17 players from the top 100 prospects each season, only six on offense: three linemen and three wide receivers. Of that number, three were taken only after head coach Lovie Smith left in '12.
Prior to 2015, the Chicago rushing attack ranked 29th, 22nd, ninth, ninth, 16th and 27th. The two statistics that have plagued Cutler since his days at Vandy, sacks and interceptions, remain his bane today. Cutler was sacked a total of 51 times in 37 games with the Broncos; the total with the Bears in 2010 alone was 52.
He still forces the ball, still throws off his back foot and still makes questionable decisions. He's been beaten and badgered by the press about his leadership ability, and former teammates haven't been too complimentary at times either.
A broken thumb in 2011 and a high ankle sprain in 2013 cost him 10 games, but otherwise he's remained a relatively accountable and durable player for the Bears—one that the new Chicago front office felt worthy of a seven-year extension through 2020.
It’s worth noting that Cutler actually signed his extension in January of 2014, and the new regime inherited his contract when it came to power a year later. Still, the current coaching staff has stood by the embattled quarterback instead of heading in a new direction.
Cutler’s future beyond this season is uncertain. With the Bears trying to rebuild, there’s no guarantee that he’ll be their guy under center next year. The one-time Pro Bowler will turn 33 years old next April.