“(The Bears) believe in (coach Marc) Trestman after what they’ve seen from (backup quarterback Josh) McCown,” the source said. “Between his system and the two big receivers (Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery), you have a system where a quarterback can flourish. I don’t know if McCown is going to be the starter (next season), but I think the team would be fine letting Cutler test the market and then go draft someone if he left.”
Chicago could always use their franchise tag on Cutler and shop him around to the highest bidder. After all, it’s not all that common to find an available quarterback as good as Cutler is during offseason, so Chicago could at least get something in return for him.
Bears GM Phil Emery mentioned during a chat session last week that he was uncomfortable using the franchise tag on a quarterback given the restraints it places on their salary cap. Next year, the franchise tag is expected to be worth over $16 million and although the Bears have cap space to work with, this could prevent them from executing their offseason plan to some degree.
Recent reports have indicated that the Titans have interest in Cutler, so they could be the team to watch either in free agency or as a trade partner.