Jay Cutler Looks Finished.
Maybe that’s not fair. Because every Sunday Cutler looks finished, that perpetual mopey look on his face, one part apathy, one part contempt — none of it good for the guy’s reputation, which took another beating last night — as fans had themselves a ball cracking that Cutler pulled himself from the game for a cigarette break or had trouble gripping his flask of cheap whiskey when his thumb got hurt.
And I’m not here to bag on Cutler. Body language is body language. It’s not what makes you a good quarterback. And I’m not expecting him to be out there smiling cheek to cheek — certainly not when his team is getting plastered by the Eagles and he’s getting out played by a rookie from North Dakota State.
But Cutler looked finished even before he went to the locker room with a thumb injury and BEFORE he threw that terrible interception — the kind of throw he’s becoming more well known for than any of the good ones he’s made over the years.
And with Cutler getting an x-ray on the same thumb he broke back in 2011, the Bears already look sunk two weeks into the season. And that rebuild John Fox took over is looking more and more like a Burn-it-to-the-ground proposition…, and that starts at the quarterback.
Cutler is 33 years old. He’s 50-49 as the Bears starting quarterback. He’s in the final guaranteed year of his salary — with the Bears able to walk away almost scott free from the remaining 70+ million on his contract.
And after years of blaming the coaching, the play calling, the receivers, the offensive line and the GM — General Manager Ryan Pace is probably going to point the crosshairs at Cutler. Because the Bears look terrible and they could be looking at a Top 5 pick — where they’ll likely find a quarterback that may not be as talented than Cutler, but can certainly do better than Cutler did last night.
The Bears are in a bad place. You’ve got linebacker Pernell McPhee — in street clothes! — marching out onto the field to get in Cutler’s face after that interception. Nose tackle Eddie Goldman left the game on a cart. Linebacker Lamarr Houston looks like he’s finished with an ACL. First rounder Leonard Floyd is lining up offsides on key 4th down plays. Last year’s first rounder Kevin White is still learning the playbook. 2014 first-rounder Kyle Fuller hasn’t seen the field yet.
So let’s be clear: This thing isn’t just about Cutler. But he’s the best place to start. And the easiest target.
And a Bears team that’s only won 3 of its last 17 games in Soldier Field since 2014 are looking for targets.