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In this ongoing series, we'll take a position by position look at the Chicago Bears roster with an eye towards 2013. We'll speculate on who stays, who goes, and some potential additions we'd like to see. Also thanks to our friends at Pro Football Focus, we'll bring you their unique insight on the Chicago Bears.
There's only one QB signed for 2013, so some change could be on the horizon.
Jay Cutler - Signed through 2013 - Phil Emery has a big decision looming with Cutler's contract set to expire. Technically he could franchise him for the '14 and '15 seasons, but that rarely works out without some drama surrounding it. Jay Cutler may never be on the same level as Tom Brady, but he's capable of winning a lot of games, and he is a franchise type QB.
In 2012, Pro Football Focus had Cutler graded out the best since his 2008 Pro Bowl year at +8.7. One area that Cutler thrived last year was in throwing while under pressure. His completion percentage of 54.5% was 3rd best in the NFL in that category.
They also chart the number of times a QB throws the ball away, something I've been critical of Jay for not doing enough. Of the 54 QBs that threw a pass in '12, Cutler ranked 35th with five. Five. For a little perspective, Philip Rivers, who was sacked 50 times last season, threw the ball away 42 times. Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked more than any other QB in the NFL in 2012 (51), threw the ball away 20 times. Save yourself Jay, and just throw it away...
Jason Campbell - Free Agent - After signing to be the #2 in Chicago, I think the NFL views Campbell as a back up now. I doubt he'll be given a legitimate shot at a starting gig anywhere in 2013. The majority of his limited '12 action was against two very good defenses, but unfortunately for him, that is the last image teams will have of him. PFF wasn't very kind to his 128 snaps, sticking him with a -5.7 overall grade. I wouldn't be surprised to see Campbell back as the #2 next year, but that may depend on the new offense.
Josh McCown - Free Agent - McCown was brought back as insurance when Cutler was hurt during the year.. He's a guy that the Bears were familiar with, but with a new regime coming in, I highly doubt he would return.
Matt Blanchard - Signed through 2014 - Can you say, 'QB of the future'? Just Kidding... But as a developmental guy, you could do worse. The NFL is full of players that take an unorthodox path to a 53 man roster, so why not work with a young kid that has some raw skills. Who knows.
2013 OUTLOOK: The Bears would most likely bring four guys into camp, so they'll have to sign a couple players at some point. I don't think they'll draft a guy unless someone very talented, high on their board, falls down the draft. Expect a rookie undrafted free agent or two to go to rookie camp, expect the new head coach to have a guy that knows his system to be in the mix, and expect Jay Cutler to sign an extension.