Finding a middle ground for their quarterback situation is what will occupy the Chicago Bears the entire 2014 off-season. Much of it will surround how they handle drafting one. Is UCLA standout Brett Hundley their ideal solution?
Injuries and Josh McCown cloud future of Jay Cutler in Chicago
Anybody who hasn’t heard about the ongoing myriad of difficult decisions revolving around Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler clearly doesn’t follow football as much as they think. In review, the 30-year old quarterback, who is extremely talented, sits in the last year of his contract. The Bears had hoped the 2013 season under new head coach Marc Trestman might begin to unlock his obvious potential after so many flashes since he came to town in 2009. Instead two injuries to his groin and ankle have forced him to miss four games with a fifth expected on Monday night against Dallas. Clouding the situation further is backup Josh McCown, who has played outstanding in relief of Cutler with over 1,400 passing yard and nine touchdown to just one interception. It has several people believing that perhaps the Trestman offense can thrive without Cutler, prompting urges for looking for a cheaper option in the 2014 NFL draft.
Hundley projected as second round pick in 2014 NFL draft
The problem is drafting a quarterback guarantees nothing. While Trestman is a proven developer of the position, pinning all the cards on a rookie doesn’t always have the best results. For all his faults, Cutler is a proven veteran who can excel when healthy. He’ll have another year in the offense in 2014 if brought back and a growing list of weapons. So the problem at hand is middle ground. Chicago doesn’t want to commit franchise quarterback money to Cutler in a long-term deal because of the risks, but they also don’t want to lose him or use the franchise tag. Perhaps their best option is to give him a fair extension for three to four years and then use a second or third round pick on a possible future option at quarterback. In that case, UCLA youngster Brett Hundley might be the ideal solution. Word out of the college ranks are, despite urges from coaches and family to stay in school, that he is strongly considering to enter the draft. Not long ago he was playing very well and considered a top ten pick. However, his clear inexperience as an underclassmen has dropped him to second round status on most boards. While not an immediate solution, Hundley would make the perfect pick for Chicago. Having Cutler still under center would mean the kid could sit on the bench, earn his money and spend his time learning under Trestman without taking the hits. His talent level is immense from size, to arm strength, accuracy and mobility. What he lacks is polish, and allowing Trestman a year or two work with him could clean that up.
By that point the Chicago Bears should have their answer on Jay Cutler and Brett Hundley would be ready to start in his place.