Jun 11, 2013; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during minicamp at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Cutler 2014 NFL Free Agency Destination: Houston Texans


This scenario was among the hardest to gauge.  Big name quarterbacks almost never hit the open market unless they are old or injured.  Jay Cutler will be 30-years old when NFL free agency starts up again next March.  He has no serious injuries on his record aside from some concussion issues.  Everyone has already talked up his talent and it has shown on several occasions.  Yet he sits one more failed regular season away from leaving the second team in his career.

Chicago Bears and Phil Emery ready to play chicken on Cutler contract

If it was good enough for the Baltimore Ravens, then why not the Chicago Bears?  That is the logic GM Phil Emery has clearly taken with his decision not to open negotiations to give Cutler a contract extension. Baltimore did the same thing with Joe Flacco in 2012 and he responded with a Super Bowl championship.  While those expectations are a little high, the Bears do have legitimate reasons to withhold the money.  First and foremost, Cutler has one trip to the playoffs in his career, which was three years ago in 2010.  That is not the mark of a franchise quarterback.  Adding to it is the fact he is currently coming off his worst season as a Bear.  His 3,033 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and 58 completion percentage were all lows.  Never mind the ongoing interception issues and inability to beat Green Bay.  Frankly, Cutler hasn’t done enough to earn big money and unlike the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago is willing to risk losing him in 2014 to get their answer once and for all.  They’ve done everything they can, getting a left tackle (Jermon Bushrod), star receiver (Brandon Marshall) and an offensive-oriented head coach (Marc Trestman) to ensure his success.  The rest is up to him.

Matt Schaub also skating on thin ice with Gary Kubiak and Texans

That said, things happen.  Nobody thought Cutler would get traded from Denver and he was.  So him leaving Chicago isn’t hard to imagine.  What is hard is figuring out where he might land.  Most teams understand by now that Jay is a head case.  He doesn’t make it easy on coaches, has a bit of a temper that is hard to control and is not the most accessible player in the world.  Put simply, he brings lots of baggage.  That means if he were to find a team it would have to be one that has a veteran coach who runs a system Jay supports.  Luckily the Houston Texans fit the bill perfectly.  Much like the Bears they have a small question mark at quarterback to get answered.  Twice the team has reached the playoffs the past two seasons.  The first time quarterback Matt Schaub didn’t play because of an injury.  The second time he struggled down the stretch after starting 11-1 and lost to the New England Patriots in the divisional round. Houston feels its ready for a Super Bowl run.  Their biggest unknown is Schaub who turns 32 this year.

Cutler meanwhile is two years younger, more athletic and has a far better arm.  What makes the move such a fit is the Texans offense.  It is very similar to the one run by Mike Shanahan who coached him for three years in  Denver, the same time he went to the Pro Bowl.  Gary Kubiak spent years coaching with Shanahan and plays offense the same way.  Since Cutler played at a high level in such a scheme, he seems like an ideal replacement for Schaub were he to leave Chicago.

Much will depend on how both quarterbacks do in 2013.

Tags: Chicago Bears Gary Kubiak Houston Texans Jay Cutler Matt Schaub NFL Free Agency Phil Emery

  • Buck44

    The Texans have very little cap space and many important veterans to sign in 2014. I wouldn’t count on this happening. Texans also have a second string and third string QB that Kubiak really likes.

    • Erik Lambert

      As to cost, if Cutler struggles this year his price will drop to something more manageable for the Texans. I understand Houston fans like T.J. Yates but if he were good enough he’d have beaten out Schaub by now. If anybody has a chance to take the job, I think it’s Case Keenum because he can run and he can absorb an offense well. At the same time he is undersized. Kubiak can say he likes somebody all he wants, but things can change.

  • Buck44

    Overall, this is just a flyer thrown out to get a byline. Not very well thought out at all considering the teams involved.

    • Erik Lambert

      That is your opinion, Buck. Based on what I saw this past year in free agency I’m convinced any team can go after a certain player if they see a fit.

  • metalhead65

    so he is a head case because he does not suck up to the media? he is a head case because he has had to play for head coach who knew nothing about offense and could not hire someone who knew what they were doing? he is a head case because he has had no line to speak of and nobody besides him and Matt Forte on offense before Marshall arrived last year? he is such a head case the bears can’t win without him in the line up. he had no problems in Denver with coaches who based the offense on what he did best and one of those things was rolling out, think the bears might have thought of doing those things that made him a good young qb when they got him? nope not in Lovie’s prevent offense. you kick a field goal to take the lead and then hope the defense holds it the rest of the game. and if they don’t on Jay throw it deep and win it.if trestman is the guru they say he is and uses more than a screen on third down to hester as his big play then Cutler will have a monster year and will not be going anywhere.

    • Erik Lambert

      Have you not heard the stories about Tice? Cutler is not a bad guy, but you have to admit he has a problem with coaches in general, not just Smith. I’m not denying his skill because he has plenty. What I am saying is the only thing standing between him and a new deal at this point is the space between his ears. Trestman knows what he is doing. You can tell just from the whispers coming out of camp. Jay has no more excuses. If he fails, it is on him.

      • metalhead65

        well since they finally made moves to give him something to work with on offense of course he has no excuses. but you have to admit he had legit ones before now. as for the stories of him and tice so what? did you see the offense he had to work with? how would you respect a guy who can’t get the plays in on time or have the right personal in when he does? the guy had to be the worst play caller in the history of bad ones with the bears. I mean the whole offense for them last year was run for your life until Brandon Marshall got open or get sacked waiting for that to happen. I don’t see how you make the conclusion he has a problem with coaches just because of tice or that he did not get along with martz because he was tired of getting killed every week playing in a offense that had not worked since the show on turf days. he got production but they did not win until smith made martz run the ball more.I don’t remember hearing about him not getting along with shanahan while in Denver. I just think the guy gets a bad rap because he does not play nice to the press and wears his emotions on his sleeve. how many other guys have their every move and expression analyzed like him?

        • Erik Lambert

          I absolutely admit he had excuses. Angelo had no idea how to build an offense, and Smith had no clue how to run one. As for your Shanahan argument, it’s easy to use their relationship as a crutch because Jay wasn’t getting sacked. Martz was handcuffed by his personnel. You saw in the later stages of 2011 that his offense was working but instead of keeping him into 2012 when Jay returns, they go with Tice instead. I have to believe that was because of pressure from Cutler.

          Jay gets a bad rap because he has so much talent but doesn’t win enough. Don’t be mistaken. Did he have excuses before? Sure. That doesn’t excuse him from acting like a professional. He can be as emotional as he wants, but doing petty things like refusing to communicate with your coaches speaks to a man who is still dealing with some maturity issues. I expect him to have a big year for the Bears, but that doesn’t mean he will.

  • NotPropagandized

    Crazy, won’t happen, not even a little bit. Schaub will be fine. They’re sure to address the TEAM fail at end of ’12 season. Prediction: Schaub and whole team grow from last year’s shortfall. When they win a lot of games in ’13, they won’t be looking back to admire their work like happened with the dumb letter jacket maneuver. Hopefully they’ll get Foster off the notion that it’s somehow important to play in certain uniforms for one game or another. Just go play and win. No letter jackets, no self admire in uniform, no locker room video crap. Just go win. 1-0 every week.

    • Erik Lambert

      There’s no doubt Houston is poised. The thing about Schaub that scares me is when he takes a hit, he REALLY takes a hit. I’m still shaking from that shot he took in Denver. The guy has health issues and only one playoff win. And before you point out Jay does too, Jay doesn’t have that Texans offensive line. Schaub could very well have a great year. He has that long needed second receiver now opposite Johnson and Ben Tate should return to keep Foster fresher. Regardless, the chance is still there that he struggles, and Houston will have to make a decision.