A source tells ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that there is “absolutely zero truth” to recent reports that th Bears are actively shopping QB Jay Cutler on the trade market.
“At most, the team has been positioned as a passive listener if other teams have interest in any of its players, including Cutler — which is the case for the majority of teams, a source noted,” Mortensen adds.
According to Mortensen, the Bears fully expect Cutler will be the team’s quarterback for the 2015 season.
Even though there’s been talk that the Bears could release Cutler at some point, Mortensen writes that this is not happening either and the team is instead working to accentuate his strengths with their new offensive scheme.
John Mullin of CSN Chicago mentioned during an appearance on Pro Football Talk Live that it would be the “shock of the millennium” if Jay Cutler isn’t back with the Bears next year.
“It will still be the shock of the millennium if he’s not a Bear. They’ll listen to trades but there really are not many teams that will take on a $15.5 million salary, which would also commit you to $10 million in 2016,” Mullin said, via Pro Football Talk.
- Bernstein adds that the offers Chicago has received up to this point have been underwhelming.
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, releasing Cutler outright would actually cost them cap space while creating a staggering $19.5 million in dead money. Even the idea of making Cutler a post-June 1 release wouldn’t add any cap space, so trading him is really their best option.
If they were able to find a trade partner, Chicago could free up $12.5 million in cap space and take on just $4 million in dead money by moving him.
It’s hard to say anyone would be willing to take on this kind of contract and part with draft compensation in the process.
A few months ago, reports said that the Bears may need to throw in a draft pick to actually trade him. That’s how bad of a situation this is for Chicago.
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.
We’ll have more regarding Cutler as the news is available.