Many people speculated-- myself included-- before this season whether it would be the last year Jay Cutler would be in a Chicago Bears uniform, and most came to the conclusion it would depend on his health and production. The first three years of his monster seven year contract extension contained most of the dead cap money, so technically starting next season, the Bears only owe him for his salary ($12.5 million), plus a couple of small bonuses ($2.5M roster and $1.0M for restructure bonus).
No one predicted Cutler would be knocked out by Week 2, and while the Bears are staying vague on how long he'll be out, it does appear it could be a few weeks.
Recently, Josh Sunderbruch took a compelling look at how much football Cutler has left in the gas tank, and not just in a Bears uniform. Cutler is now in his mid-30's, and his style of football isn't one that will allow him to play as long as Tom Brady or Peyton Manning did.
But for now, let's just focus on 2017 and beyond. Is Cutler the guy? Many think he might be done in Chicago after this season, so we need to look at options.
The 2017 draft class is light in franchise quarterback prospects, and there is anywhere from 0-2 guys in that class that could come in and start right away as rookies.
But what about someone like Jimmy Garoppolo in New England? He was drafted in 2014 and spent two full seasons learning possibly the best system in the entire NFL behind the best quarterback in the NFL. He comes off the bench in his third year to relieve a suspended Tom Brady, and looked great before getting himself knocked out with an injury.
Garoppolo didn't get enough snaps under his belt to make a definitive case that he should be a starter in the league, but he did get enough to have some teams around the league intrigued.
With the Chicago Bears quarterback situation in flux after 2016, should they consider trading for Garoppolo? If so, what would you think would be a reasonable trade value?
Chicago Tribune writer Brad Biggs brought this up a couple weeks ago (item 10c):
"Go ahead and crank up a Jimmy Garoppolo Tracker for Bears GM Ryan Pace. I'm not saying the Bears are destined to trade for the quarterback after the season, but barring something totally unexpected from Tom Brady, you have to imagine the Patriots are going to look to get something of great value for Garoppolo at the end of the season. Garoppolo, a second-round pick in 2014, will be entering the final year of his contract in 2017. He guided the Patriots to a road victory Sunday night at Arizona. All quarterback needy teams will be in the mix here and Garoppolo was on Pace's radar when he was paired with another Eastern Illinois football giant in New Orleans - Saints coach Sean Payton. There's just too much to think this isn't a possibility for the Bears. Now, we have to see how Garoppolo plays in the next three games."
And that's the key here-- Garoppolo didn't get to play the next three games, and he won't be on as many team's radars as previously thought. There's just not enough film on him to justify too much of a chance... Right?
Ryan Pace liked him before, and the Bears need to figure out what they are going to do after 2016. Should they consider trading for Jimmy Garoppolo?