The Chicago Bears have hired John Fox as head coach and after being noncommittal in his first press conference about Jay Cutler, the speculation about the future for the quarterback continues and a trade to the Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans, NY Jets, Buffalo Bills or Cleveland Browns could be potential possibilities for the team.
Cutler was benched in Week 16 of the season for backup Jimmy Clausen by head coach Marc Trestman, but now that he is gone, it could lead to the Bears keeping Cutler. Cutler is one of the highest paid players in football and now new general manager Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox will have to decide what the best course of action is. According to Pro Football Talk, Fox had the chance to give Cutler some support in his first press conference, but he instead declined to comment on whether he would be with the Bears in 2015.
Fox is likely starting off things slow with the Bears, but saying anything supportive or positive of Cutler would have nipped some of the speculation in the bud, at least for now. Cutler is making $15 million guaranteed next year and his contract is big and expensive and that could make him hard to trade. Fox will want some type of established quarterback and keeping Cutler could be a better option over going after free agents like Brian Hoyer or Mark Sanchez. Cutler actually put up some of his best statistics last season, but he turned over the ball way too much and could not consistently get the team to score.
Peter King in the MMQB wrote about the John Fox hiring in Chicago and he said that moving forward he would not be surprised to see the Bears keep Cutler. While a trade or another move is surely a possibility. King wrote that Fox and Ryan Pace could turn things around with Cutler at the helm, but changes to the offensive scheme need to be made after Trestman was let go. The defense was a huge issue while Trestman was head coach and that is why many hailed the Fox hiring as a step in the right direction.
If Cutler is moved there are a number of teams that could be interested in making a trade, including the Washington Redskins, NY Jets, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns and also the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bills also could be in the mix, but that is unlikely. The Redskins once were interested in Cutler and could keep RG3 while making a move, while the Titans have a college location connection for Cutler. Chip Kelly likely has his eye on Marcus Mariota over a move like this, while the Jets also may look at the draft over a major trade.
Cutler set a career high this season with 28 touchdowns and a 66 percent completion percentage while putting up his second best amount with 3812 passing yards, but he also had 18 interceptions. Cutler has only played in a full season once while with the Bears and this year he played in 15 games after getting benched for Clausen. Fox has plenty of work to do and Cutler is one of the top questions for the team and Ryan Pace to deal with.