The Chicago Bears haven't had a real quarterback controversy since before the 2008 season, which was the year that the Bears decided to roll with Kyle Orton and two years before they traded for Jay Cutler. Way back when, I thought the Bears were primed for a solid 2009 with Orton at the helm, before they swung the huge deal for Cutler. I was as excited as most Bears' fans were when they acquired the Pro Bowl QB.
Flash forward eight years later and I'm still OK with Cutler leading the Bears' offense. He may have never lived up to the hype, but I stopped comparing him to the elite quarterbacks in the NFL long ago and accepted him for what he is. He's a good player that is capable of making great plays, but his risk taking will lead to the occasional mistake.
Last year Cutler bounced back from a bad 2014 season to play some of the best football of his career and there's no reason to think he'll regress with a better overall team around him.
Cutler is clearly the number one QB, but this year the Bears have a very capable #2 that has won games in the past. With the 30 year old Brian Hoyer, the Bears have a player that has started 26 games the last four seasons. Last year with the Houston Texans he posted a 91.4 passer rating while throwing 19 touchdowns to just 7 interceptions. He also has familiarity with Bears' offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, who was his QB coach in 2014 with the Cleveland Browns.
Hoyer is a competitive player that will prepare as though he is Chicago's #1 quarterback, pushing Cutler to be on point in every meeting and at every practice. If something were to happen to Cutler, I have confidence that Hoyer could come in and keep the offense going.
A good bet to make it
Behind the #1 and #2, I think it's wide open between the next two Bears I'll mention...
On the bubble
The Bears will most likely carry three quarterbacks this year, so the preseason games should be a fun battle to monitor. David Fales may have the slight edge for the #3 gig since he was with the Bears last year. He was a practice squadder up until the Bears cut Jimmy Clausen in late November.
Fales' competition will come from Connor Shaw, who like Hoyer, was also with the Browns in 2014. Shaw, unlike Fales, actually has some regular season NFL action, but his lone game as a rookie wasn't overly impressive.
Rookie undrafted free agent Dalyn Williams is a practice squad possibility if he impresses, but so are both Fales and Shaw. With practice squads allowing 10 players in 2016, with 4 of those players allowed to have 2 accrued seasons, the roster battle at the bottom of the QB depth chart will be fierce.
EDIT: With the addition of offensive guard Amini Silatolu, the Bears have cut Dalyn Williams.
What are your thoughts on the QB battle this offseason?