Bears' lack of Plan B means Cutler holds all the cards

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by short faced bear, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    With no potential replacements at quarterback, team has no leverage for 2014

    Mike Mulligan

    7:05 p.m. CDT, August 6, 2013

    Marc Trestman's arrival is supposed to signal a new era of responsibility and accountability for Jay Cutler.

    If we understand the plan correctly, the relationship between coach and quarterback will determine Cutler's future with the Bears. Cutler isn't just being evaluated, mind you. He's being re-evaluated.

    This is deadly serious stuff. Cutler is on the pro football equivalent of "double secret probation" at Faber College — minus the intended farce. Never mind that general manager Phil Emery has decreed Cutler a franchise player or that Chairman George McCaskey has compared him to his grandfather, team founder George Halas. Cutler's future in Chicago comes down to how well he buys into Trestman's program and how well he performs in Trestman's scheme.

    The concept is noble, the plan sincere. but there is a gaping hole in the logic. The Bears have no plan at quarterback outside of Cutler. There is nobody on the horizon if they deem Cutler irretrievable. The only plan, in fact, is the vague threat of the franchise tag. Do you imagine Cutler losing sleep or even opening a droopy eyelid over the threat of massive overpayment?

    Leverage is the key to any negotiation, and the only real power the Bears hold over Cutler is whether to allow him to earn a ton of money to quarterback the team he followed as a child. There is organizational hubris involved in believing that is a deal-breaker.

    It's a great idea to try to get Cutler to change as a player. Make him take on more responsibility. Somehow force him to play better. His time in Chicago, whether ultimately successful or not, has been defined by a certain amount of unnecessary resentment and bullying. The guy is an abundantly talented player who has operated with little to no charm or humor. He's not particularly respectful of others.

    Regardless, if the Bears were serious about replacing Cutler, they would have someone in the organization preparing to take over. That is not the case. Backup Josh McCown is 34 and, like just about everybody else, is in the final year of his contract. Third-stringer Matt Blanchard is a former undrafted free agent not even assured a roster spot.

    If Cutler isn't back in 2014, the Bears would have to look elsewhere for his replacement. Presumably, enough talent remains from last year's 10-win team to prevent a complete meltdown and with it the kind of premium draft pick needed for an immediate starter at the position. Who wants to pick through the league's trash?

    The Bears can be a strange organization, no doubt about it. For one, they are compartmentalized like an overnight train. For instance, McCaskey and President Ted Phillips both expressed genuine desire that Brian Urlacher stay and play for the Bears. They left the decision in Emery's hands, and Urlacher's gone. What could they have done? No interfering in football decisions. Would the same hold true with a franchise quarterback?

    And where does Cutler stand in this? Is he locked in on the Bears? Is he judging Trestman as Trestman judges him?

    "We're getting more comfortable with each other, trusting each other more and more,'' Cutler said Tuesday. "We're in close quarters right now. See him every day. Talk to him every day. So it is going well. It's one of those things that's an evolving process each and every day. Just learning about each other, what he likes and what I like and dislike. There's been no real serious bumps in the road yet.''

    Cutler likes the idea he can take more control of the offense, check in and out of plays and audibilize. Trestman played it coy when asked if Cutler is at his best when he has more control.

    "I don't want to make any statements like that because we have such a long way to go, and it is a process,'' Trestman said. "It's a hypothetical. I know this: We're really not going to know who we are and what we're about until February. Then we'll sit back and really evaluate the process.''


    Cutler doesn't have a poker face. Good or bad, he always has been an open book in terms of showing his emotions and expressing himself, however plainly, to teammates and coaches.

    The Bears are playing a grim, high-stakes card game with a guy who might yet tell them to go fish.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...ligan-bears-chicago-20130807,0,7950440.column
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    "... Never mind that general manager Phil Emery has decreed Cutler a franchise player..." This the same guy that said Carimi was welcome back w/open arms? Ya he's a pretty credible source. His head coach made no such statements and by all accounts it's going to be his call.

    The article's basic premise though, is the one of the reasons I kept saying it was so important to draft a backup this year is for this reason, leverage, although by all accounts the QB draft class could be better and deeper next year so that is still a possibility. The idea that rookies cannot come in and play day 1 is a very dated concept. Rookies have been coming in and playing for going on a decade + now. The idea that a qb needs to sit back and learn for 1-2-3 years no longer holds any bearing in reality.
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  3. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member SuperFan

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    I think one thing people fail to take into account is that Emery decline ALL extensions this year. Majority of the team are in contract years, so we should expect to see them play their hearts out in search of that big payday. This also means that we will only see a handful of them back next year. Emery is going to let the players EARN their new contracts with us, or elsewhere if we cant afford them.

    Sure, Cutler has leverage, and if he performs well, he is going to be highly paid next year. If not, we will part ways. If Cutler performs well, then we shouldnt have a problem throwing money at him, because he has shown us he CAN perform well. If he doesnt, then we will find another option.
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  4. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    43 players who will not have a contract come March. 43
  5. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member SuperFan

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    Some of them will get re-signed, so its not as if were going to lose all 43. Besides, you have to look it at it from Emery's perspective: before this year, he was basically subject to Lovie's wants and needs. Now that he fired Lovie and hired Trestman, Emery will want to shape the team in his own vision, and the quickest way to do that is with a little housecleaning...now you have 43 players who are going to put up one helluva season so they can earn that big payday in the offseason (either from us, or elsewhere), and in the process, Emery can evaluate the talent we have, and decide who is really worth re-signing, who we should let go, and what positions we can try and look to the draft to fill in players.
  6. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    43 of 99 not all those guys were going to make the team this year. Lets see how many 1yr contracts make the 53 man roster, and how many we actually care about. My count on guys that matter:
    Cutler
    Tillman
    Jennings
  7. lklrlolnlilklsox

    lklrlolnlilklsox Position Coach

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    Forgot Melton.

    Potentially; Wright, Webb.

    Webb being a success would be a big coup for the Bears, so I chose to believe he will be a guy that matter comes next offseason. It would mean bad things for this season if he isn't.
  8. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Ya forgot Melton,

    Webb/Wright are completely dependant on if they flop or not so I purposefully left them off. I am throwing Cutler in there b/c, like the article said, the team has yet to come up w/a legit backup plan.
  9. Mr. Deliverance

    Mr. Deliverance Guest

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    I like having all these guys with expiring contracts. We find out now who is really hungry to get a new deal and who isn't. Makes it much easier to thin the herd, of guys that don't belong here anymore.
  10. butka

    butka Veteran

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    I don't think there's a lack of plan B. I believe plan B is find one of many QBs that can fit the system. It sounds like they're trying to build an offense similar to New England and Green Bay. Those are very QB friendly and you can insert a lot of intelligent guys with an average skill set and get results. Look at Cassell, Flynn, etc. if you want proof. Those guys light it up in that offensive system and can't do jack once out of it.
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  11. JoeBlow

    JoeBlow Rookie

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    Agreed. We went out and got Cutler and he started from day 1. Why would it be any different if we let him go and sign/trade for someone else?
    They could draft a guy this year and sign another vet to play a year or two.
    It's all up to this year I think.
    And it's not a slam dunk that Cutler 'wins'. ;)

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