WEDNESDAY, 2:16pm: Speaking to reporters today, Pace confirmed that the team is “moving forward” with Cutler as its starting quarterback (Twitter link).
TUESDAY, 6:56am: The Bears fully expect Cutler to be their quarterback for the 2015 season, and are preparing for that outcome, reports Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com. A source tells Mortensen that while the Bears have been willing to listen to any inquiries involving Cutler, the team isn’t actively shopping its signal-caller.
New head coach John Fox and GM Ryan Pace didn’t exactly throw their full support behind Cutler at the combine, but given the quarterback’s lack of trade value at this point, it makes sense that the club would give him a vote of confidence at some point, since there simply aren’t better alternatives out there.
MONDAY, 2:22pm: The Bears are actively shopping Jay Cutler would move him for a “reasonable return,” sources tell Dan Bernstein of WSCR (via Twitter). To this point, however, Chicago has been underwhelmed by offers.
Albert Breer of NFL.com recently reported that in the aftermath of the Brandon Marshall trade, the Bears were likely to hang on to their quarterback. The Bears, he noted, have a “Cutler-friendly staff” with new offensive coordinator Adam Gase and quarterbacks coach Dowell Logains in the fold. Right now, however, Chicago sounds pretty open to moving on from Cutler.
After a season in which the 31-year-old Cutler rated as the league’s No. 32 QB per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), it was assumed by many that the club was ready to move on. Even if the Bears want to part ways with Cutler, however, his seven-year, $126.7MM extension could get in the way.
Cutler’s deal contains a fully guaranteed $38MM, which includes his 2015 salary of $15.5MM. That figure, along with the prorated portions of his signing bonus, would leave Chicago with $19.5MM in dead money if it chose to release its quarterback — keeping Cutler on the roster, however, would cost just $16.5MM. If the Bears trade him, it would reduce his 2015 dead money to just $4MM, saving Chicago $12.5MM in ’15 cap space. PFR’s Dallas Robinson recently looked at the Bears’ quarterback situation as a part of our Offseason Outlook series.