The NFL free agent class for 2014 is a solid one and at the quarterback position, the top name on the market will likely be Jay Cutler after the Chicago Bears decided not to extend him before the season and now he could be an option for teams like the Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings next season.
Cutler came into the year with high expectations with his contract coming up and the Bears likely will re-sign him after the season, but with his injuries and other issues, there is a chance they could let him go. Some have suggested in the media that teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings could pony up the cash to sway him away from Chicago, but with multiple injuries this season, it remains to be seen how much he will command on the market.
Cutler has been banged up over the past couple seasons, but he has done a good job of getting back onto the field while dealing with them and while that is great for the Bears, it could hurt him down the line when he is looking for a new contract in the offseason. Cutler is at an interesting point in his career, as he is 30-years-old and he has not won the "big game" in the playoffs yet and that could be a knock on him once he hits the market. One reason Cutler may have put himself in harm's way over the weekend may have had to do with his contract, as the quarterback knows that the better he plays, the better chance he has to get a big contract.
Josh McCown has done a solid job without Cutler in the lineup and that could make the Bears think that they could get by with him or someone else under center. Cutler appears to want to stay in Chicago, where he has a great offensive mind in Marc Trestman and also one of the best receivers and running backs in the league in Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte, but as usual, this likely will come down to money.
The Raiders are going to have a ton of room under the cap coming up and with Terrelle Pryor looking solid but not totally steady, there is a chance that the team could go hard after him. Same for the Vikings and Browns, as they could have money to spend next offseason and Cutler will command a decent deal. While he won't get paid as much as let's say Aaron Rodgers or Joe Flacco, the quarterback position has taken a big hit with established players, as there aren't too many in this league as evidenced by the Rams calling Tim Tebow and Brett Favre after Sam Bradford was injured, meaning that Cutler would be in high demand.
This season Cutler has 1,908 yards passing and 13 TDs with eight picks and if he has a nice finish to the season and makes it into the playoffs, that will only help his cause. Cutler has dealt with a groin injury this season, but that won't stop teams from bidding on him come the offseason.