The Chicago Bears are heading into 2015 with new leadership in John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace and the team could consider a Jay Cutler trade or a move with Brandon Marshall, as teams like the Houston Texans, Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans, NY Jets and Cleveland Browns could be interested in making a deal.
The Bears come into the offseason after firing Marc Trestman and Phil Emery and now Fox takes over after four years with the Denver Broncos. Fox won four division titles in Denver and now he comes to Chicago after John Elway decided to make a chance following another early playoffs loss. The Bears won just five games last season and that sparked the changes at the top. Cutler was benched by Trestman in Week 16 of the season and that has prompted numerous questions about his future in Chicago.
Cutler was the highest paid player in football last year after signing a seven year contract in the offseason and he has a $15.5 million salary for next year. Cutler's huge contract makes him harder to trade and with Fox and Pace coming in for their first season, he may not want to blow up things right away. According to the Chicago Tribune, Cutler could be a potential option for the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, NY Jets, Washington Redskins or Cleveland Browns if the Bears explore a trade.
Cutler was benched in favor of Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 of the season and he later started in Week 17 after Clausen was injured. Cutler actually did not have a bad season in 2014 stats-wise, but overall the Bears did not play well and he led the league in interceptions and turnovers. Cutler had 18 picks and six lost fumbles while playing in 15 games and he did that with strong talent like Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Brandon Marshall on offense.
Cutler threw for a career high 28 touchdowns last season and completed 66 percent of his passes and if he stays in Chicago, he will have a new offensive coordinator in Adam Gase. The Broncos had the highest scoring offense in football while Gase was in Denver and it will be up to him to turn things around after Trestman failed in 2014. One thing in Cutler's favor is the fact that he has a relationship with new quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains and that could help him have a bounce back year overall.
Brandon Marshall's future could be up in the air for the Bears, as Michael C. Wright at ESPN.com reports that "nobody knows" if Marshall will be back in 2015. While Marshall just signed a four-year, $39 million extension, he did that with Emery in charge and the same goes for Cutler. Marshall being cut could save about $4 million for the Bears and while that isn't much, it could end up being significant.
Marshall has always been a unique figure and while he has been very productive in Chicago, this past season was his worst and he also missed time with injuries. Marshall played in 13 games this season and finished the year on injured reserve and he finished with 61 catches for 721 yards and eight touchdowns. In his previous two seasons, Marshall had 218 receptions, 23 touchdowns and over 2500 receiving yards.