The Chicago Bears likely will have John Fox in as their new head coach after he parted ways with the Denver Broncos and now both Fox and general manager Ryan Pace will have to consider the future of quarterback Jay Cutler, as a trade could be an option after he was benched last season and if he is traded, teams like the Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans and NY Jets could be interested.
The Bears fired head coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery after the season and they hired Ryan Pace from the Saints to take over as general manager. Pace and the Bears interviewed a number of candidates, including Adam Gase, Doug Marrone and Todd Bowles as well as Fox, who had connections to Bears consultant Ernie Accorsi. Jason Cole reported the news on Fox late on Thursday and the Bears previously confirmed that they interviewed him earlier in the week.
Fox parted ways with the Broncos after four seasons and four straight AFC West division titles and now he is poised to take over another team. Fox and the Broncos split due to differences about moving forward after this season, with John Elway and Fox not agreeing on the plan, according to ESPN.com. Fox has strong coaching experience after taking both the Broncos and the Panthers to the Super Bowl and now he could be poised to take over for the Bears. Dan Quinn also could be a target, but it looks like he will be going to the Atlanta Falcons.
The Bears have also interviewed former Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone and Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, but it looks like Fox gave the team the best interview. Fox comes in after winning a ton of games with the Broncos and the first big test for the next head coach of the Bears and for Ryan Pace is the future of Jay Cutler. While Trestman is now gone after benching Cutler, the team still could consider trading him and that will be one of the major decisions for the franchise moving forward.
Cutler was benched last season as the highest paid player in the league and he just started a long term contract that was signed while Emery was GM. Pace could try and move Cutler for draft picks or players and try and replace his talent using the money saved, but that would also be a major shift for the organization. Cutler led the league in turnovers and interceptions last season, but he actually had one of his best statistical seasons. Cutler completed 66 percent of his passes and threw for 28 touchdowns, both career highs. He also had 3,812 yards passing, which were the most for him since the 2008 season.
The Bears have a number of directions they can go and if they do decide to trade Cutler, there should be some teams interested in acquiring him. The Redskins like RG3 but once had their eye on Cutler in a trade, while the Bills need a quarterback, as do the Jets and Titans. Cutler played his college ball at Vanderbilt and that could be a connection for Tennessee, while the Jets could look at making a move after bringing in Todd Bowles as head coach.