Bears To Bench Jay Cutler, Start Clausen

Few saw this coming. The Bears will bench Jay Cutler in favor of Jimmy Clausen on Sunday against the Lions, sources tell Adam Schefter of (via Twitter).

Cutler is owed a guaranteed $15.5MM next season but with today’s news, it’s certainly not guaranteed to be paid by Chicago. The Bears, who have been an absolute quagmire on the field and in the locker room this season, are ostensibly thinking about moving on from their franchise quarterback after this season.

Clausen, a Notre Dame product, hasn’t played much since his rookie year in 2010 with the Panthers. For his career, Clausen has three career touchdowns versus nine career interceptions. If the Bears are giving some thought to getting rid of Cutler, then they’ll be able to see what they have in Clausen, and maybe third quarterback David Fales. In theory, the Bears can start Clausen against Detroit this week and allow Fales to start against the Vikings in the season finale.

The Bears signed Clausen over the summer and ultimately cut Jerrod Johnson and Jordan Palmer to carve out a spot for him on the depth chart. From the outset, head coach Marc Trestman was highly complimentary of the longtime prodigy.

Jimmy’s done a very good job, very maturely fit in and taken the place of trying to learn and work to learn the offense,” Trestman said. “He’s grinded at it. He spent long hours here. He’s had help from the guys in the room to get him to the place he is today. So we’ll see. We’re going through the process of working with our roster. I think he’ll be one of the guys that we do bring back, and we’ll take it one day at a time when we get to training camp.”

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