The Chicago Bears traded Brandon Marshall to the Jets this week and now head coach John Fox may look at other trades this offseason, as Jay Cutler and Matt Forte could be potential trade targets for teams, including the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans, Wahsington Redskins, Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans as the offseason moves along.
The Bears come into the offseason after firing both head coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery and now Fox and Ryan Pace take over the front office. According to Pro Football Talk, Fox and Pace were "noncommittal" about Cutler's future when asked about it at the combine and there is a chance the team could look at making a trade. The Chicago Tribune reported that the Bears were looking at trades for Marshall and the team ended up shipping the receiver to the Jets for a draft pick.
Cutler's contract is getting close to a deadline, as $10 million of his salary for the 2016 season will become guaranteed when free agency opens next week. Cutler signed his contract under Emery and was the highest paid player in the league last season, which is why it was a bit of a shock when he was benched by Marc Trestman for Jimmy Clausen. Cutler wasn't having a bad season stats-wise, but overall he was not getting it done and he ended up leading the league in interceptions.
The benching immediately brought up speculation about his future in Chicago and while Fox may want to deal him, his contract makes it tough to move him. According to the Chicago Tribune, NFL sources have said that the Titans are the "only realistic destination" for Cutler this offseason and that means he likely will not be traded. The Houston Texans are also a potential fit, but may not want to take on Cutler's contract. Cutler previously played at Vanderbilt in college and could be a draw in Tennessee.
According to ESPN New York, the Jets do not have any interest in Jay Cutler despite the fact that they have a need at quarterback and the website reports they are likely to look at the free agent market instead. At ESPN Chicago, a number of former coaches under Trestman and Lovie Smith anonymously bashed Cutler, saying he doesn't have the leadership ability to lead a team to a championship and that his playing style can be "rogue" and "reckless".
The Chicago Tribune and Michael C. Wright at ESPN Chicago both speculated that Forte could be on his way out in the future, as he is coming into the final year of his contract. Forte is 29 years old and is owed nearly $8 million next year. Wright reported that the Bears often take care of players coming into their contract years if they want them to stay with the team and that could signal their future plans with Forte. Even if Forte stays, there is a good chance he hits free agency next year and he could leave in 2016. Forte had a big season overall in 2014, rushing for over 1000 yards and catching 102 balls for 808 yards and scoring 10 total TDs.