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Football Outsiders: Bears QB Jay Cutler is an average quarterback

The Chicago Bears are hoping Jay Cutler has another great year in 2016, but has he already peaked in his career?

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is entering his third year of the 7-year, 126 million dollar contract (126.7 million to be exact) extension that he signed back in 2014, which included $54 million in guarantees. His salary for 2016 is $16 million.

In the final four years, he is scheduled to earn $12.5M, 13.5M, 17.5M, and 19.2M-- if the Bears keep him around that long.

Recently we spoke with Football Outsiders, who just dropped their 2016 Football Outsiders Almanac (click HERE to get yours), and here is what they had to say about Jay Cutler for the 2016 season:

"Jay Cutler is 33 years old and has been in the NFL for ten years now, and at this point he is pretty much a known commodity: he's a guy who will struggle with ball security and throw a dumb interception every other game or so, but is slightly above average in every other way.

That doesn't mean he can't improve -- Carson Palmer just had his best NFL season at age 36 -- but odds are that what we see with Cutler is what we get at this point.

Now, that's not the end of the world. He's essentially an average starter, which means on any given Sunday there's about a 50 percent chance he'll be a better quarterback than the Bears' opponent. Those odds will dip to, say, 25 percent if the Bears make the playoffs, but even then we have seen mediocre quarterbacks like Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick, and Eli Manning go on hot postseason streaks.

Over the course of their careers, Cutler has been better than any of those three, so there's always a chance he'll go on a tear."

We know at least one former Chicago Bears player who thinks Cutler could end up being the NFL's MVP for 2016 (link HERE).

Since he came to Chicago in 2009, Bears fans have been waiting on that breakout year from Cutler, but with the offensive lines and offensive coordinators he's gone through, unfortunately he had more disappointing seasons than not. But 2015 saw the best Cutler we've ever seen, and 2016 will have continuity with Dowell Loggains running the same system that Adam Gase did, and Cutler certainly has some weapons to work with.

Of course, his success will depend greatly on the offensive line. When have we heard that before.

Stay tuned...