Is Jay Cutler is a franchise quarterback? A few years ago Jerry Angelo pulled off what many thought was an impossible trade. We got Jay Cutler. A young gun who’d had one great season under his belt, this guy’s arrow was definitely pointing up. So we made the trade. It was massive. Two firsts and a third plus Kyle Orton and we got back a 5th. Well Bears fans, for me a big trade comes with big expectations and as far as I’m concerned, the jury’s still out on this one. I’ll give my reasons after the jump.
In his first season with our team Jay struggled with picks, and fans in general blamed the receivers. Those fans may have been correct, but not every pick can be blamed on the receivers. In Jay’s second season with us the picks went down slightly but then the sacks went up. Fans in general blamed the offensive line and correctly so. However, same as the picks, not all sacks can be blamed on the same source. I was at the Jets game this year. I was screaming in Cutlers ear (almost literally) to throw it away as he scrambled for an eventual sack. Bottom line, the guy made some risky throws in his first season, held on to the ball too long in his second, yet he still shows more promise than we’ve had at this position in years. Franchise? Sorry. Not yet. Could he become one? I certainly hope so.
Here’s why he’s not there yet. He’s inconsistent. He can occasionally take a team on his back to win a game and that’s why the arrows pointed up. But he can occasionally throw momentum away by chucking it off his back foot into traffic or scrambling for an eight yard loss. When I hear the term "franchise" I think of someone you can build your franchise around. Someone who by themselves makes your team a contender. In my mind their are very few true "franchise" quarterbacks in the league right now (Manning, Brady, maybe Rothlisburger or Brees) let alone "franchise" players. Oddly enough, in my mind the Bears possess two/three franchise players. All on defense. We have two linebackers (Briggs and Urlacher) and a defensive end (Julius Peppers) that you could build an entire defense around. We also have a consistently good defense. And I fully believe that’s why.
Now does Jay Cutler meet my definition of "franchise"? Can you build a team around him and expect to get better? For me, not yet. But he hasn’t been given the right pieces either. He needs an improved line and a go to receiver who isn’t a tight end. When he has those pieces will he work? We’ll find out. I think probably. But I also think that a franchise guy makes everyone around him better and for me Jay Cutler has yet to do that. That scares me just a bit. It gives me some doubts. But I’ll try to remain hopeful and for now I say, "wait and see". Your thoughts?