Over the course of the past month, Chicago Bears fans have had plenty of ammunition to fire at the long-term future of quarterback Jay Cutler with the Bears.
During the past four weeks, Cutler has suffered two injuries. Against the Washington Redskins four weeks ago, Cutler suffered a torn groin muscle. It took Cutler only three weeks to recover from that injury as the quarterback was on the field for the Bears game against the Detroit Lions this past Sunday. In that game against the Lions, Cutler suffered a high-ankle sprain. Cutler is listed as week-to-week with the injury as there was no time-frame given by head coach Marc Trestman. Typically, a high-ankle sprain is a type of injury that keeps a player sidelined for 4 to 6 weeks.
Backup quarterback Josh McCown has excelled in place of Cutler this season. When playing for an injured Cutler, McCown has a completion percentage of 60% to go along with 538 passing yards with 4 touchdown passes and 0 turnovers. The play of McCown has sparked many Bears fans to suggest that the Bears should let Cutler walk after the season.
Neither Cutler’s injuries nor McCown’s production suffice as a reason why the Bears should let Cutler walk after the season.
For Bears fans that want to make a case that the Bears should let Cutler walk after the season, the biggest piece of evidence to use is head coach Marc Trestman.
If the first 10 weeks of the NFL season have proved anything for the Bears, it is that Trestman’s offensive system is set up in a way that allows a quarterback to come in and find success. The biggest example of that testament would be McCown.
Prior to this season, McCown was nothing more than a backup. Beyond that, McCown never thrived in opportunities he had to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Even in 2011 with the Bears, McCown struggled. McCown had a passer rating of 68.3 to go along with 2 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while starting the final two games for the Bears in 2011.
McCown’s passer rating of 103.2 this season is 30 points higher than his career passer rating of 73.1. At the age of 34, McCown has not found the fountain of success to be a NFL starting quarterback. What McCown has found is a system under Trestman that allows a quarterback to come in and be successful.
That system will certainly provide leverage for the Bears when negotiating with Cutler after the season.