Chicago Bears: Who should stay and who should go

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Jay Cutler — Quarterback

Ah, here is the big one. What to do with Jay Cutler, the biggest lightning rod on the Chicago Bears roster.

It seems there is no middle ground with Cutler. There are those on one side who blame everything bad that happens on other circumstances. He hasn’t had the right coaching, the offensive lines have been bad, the defenses have been bad. He hasn’t had the right receivers. If you says one thing critical about him, they pounce on you, calling you a hater, or accuse you of hating the Bears.

On the other side are those who think that Cutler can’t do anything right. They feel that the Chicago Bears should just cut ties with Cutler as soon as possible.

Of course, the truth is somewhere in-between.

Jay Cutler has had a good year in terms of protecting the ball. His turnovers are down. Last year he threw 18 interceptions, while this year that number dropped to just seven.

Where and when he makes those interceptions are still a bit of a problem. The opposition is scoring because of his interceptions, whether it comes on a pick-six, or starting a possession in Bears territory.

The Chicago Bears have to keep Jay Cutler, at least for 2016. If they cut him, they will have $13 million in dead money. I don’t care if the team hates a player, the front office will not take in that much dead money.

A trade is not feasible, since teams will likely balk at the idea of paying him the $17 million due to him in 2016.

In 2017, however, the story changes.

The Bears can cut Cutler and the dead money comes down to a manageable $2 million. They would also save $14 million in cap space. Once cut, a team can negotiate a smaller deal for him.

That is why I feel the Chicago Bears need to make drafting a quarterback a top priority in 2016. There is no one in free agency who can play on the level of Cutler, so that is not even a thought.

More from Da Windy City

Draft a quarterback who can be the new face of the franchise and have him red-shirt his first season. Then, in 2017, when a move is made on Cutler, that quarterback can step in and take over.

Jay Cutler is 32 years old, so he is not the future of the Chicago Bears. I do not feel the Bears will go anywhere with him at the helm. Because of that, they need to use the 2016 draft to prepare for 2017, like the scenario the team has with Langford and Forte.

Next: Chicago Bears Lose Again, Continue to Slide in the Rankings

Much like the other players on this list, I do not hate Cutler. He has elite talent. He just has not been able to put it together, for whatever reason, and his time in Chicago has run out. It is time for the Chicago Bears to look elsewhere for their quarterback.