According to Jason Cole of the Bleacher Report, Oregon QB Marcus Mariota has “gained traction” with the Bears in recent weeks.
Cole mentions that there is belief within the Bears’ organization that Mariota could ultimately be their long-term answer at quarterback.
On top of that, there’s reportedly some optimism within the Bears that they could work out a trade involving QB Jay Cutler, especially if the Titans are open to the idea.
Tennessee has been floated as a speculative landing spot for Cutler dating back to late last season. However, his contract is likely prohibitive and there could be more appealing options if the Titans are in fact willing to trade their No. 2 overall pick such as Chargers QB Philip Rivers.
The Bears have brought in a new front office and a new coaching that have said that they plan to work with Cutler to try and fix the issues he’s been dealing with in recent years.
The other issue with this idea is that this would require Chicago to part with draft compensation and eat a large portion of Cutler’s contract.
You could make the case that the Bears could use as many draft picks as they can get to fill roster holes on both sides of the ball, which means trading up for a quarterback may not be the best move for them right now unless they’re convinced Mariota will be a franchise-caliber quarterback.
Cutler, 31, still has another six years remaining on his seven-year, $126.7 million contract that included $54 million guaranteed.
As of now, Chicago has paid Cutler $22.5 million of the $38 million in guarantees included in his agreement.
According to OverTheCap.com, trading Cutler would free up $12.5 million in cap space and create $4 million in dead money.
In 2014, Cutler completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 3,812 yards to go along with 28 touchdowns and 18 interceptions over the course of 15 games. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 32 quarterback out of 39 qualifying players.