Ranking The Best Landing Spots For Jay Cutler


The ride of the most maligned quarterback, Jay Cutler, of the last five years is coming screeching towards an exit this offseason.

Jay Cutler is all but out of Chicago. Jeff Darlington’s report that the Bears are actively searching for a trade partner for the quarterback only confirmed the work of months of speculation.

Eight years and a mixed bag of success and failure with the Bears has left a sour taste in the mouths of NFL fans. It’s time to spin forward. Cutler’s market sits in a strange place. He’s not an upper-echelon quarterback, or anything close to it for that matter.

He’s certainly one of the best 32 quarterbacks in the league. However, as he turns 34 this offseason, Cutler’s stock is tricky to pinpoint. Most QB-needy teams are young and rebuilding. Tony Romo is a more intriguing veteran option. Jimmy Garoppolo or a draft pick offer younger options.

In all likelihood, Cutler will be cut before the start of free agency. February trade rumors tend to be a precursor to March releases. Teams have little incentive to give up draft pick compensation for a player they know will be released.

Here are the best landing spots for Jay Cutler.

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1.) New York Jets

A potential reunion of the old Bears triplets of Cutler, Matt Forte, and Brandon Marshall. Cutler would have fit last year’s offensive coordinator’s, Chan Gailey, scheme very well. A spread, ball-out-quick attack mitigates his gunslinger tendencies. John Morton’s plan is yet to be seen, but quarterback coach Jeremy Bates. Plus, while Mike Maccagnan might not be ready to give up on last year’s second round pick, Christian Hackenberg, Todd Bowles faces a potential must-win season. They may need a temporary solution at the position. They’ll have to clear up some cap space first, however.

2.) Houston Texans

This only makes sense if the Texans miss out in the Romo sweepstakes. Without a high draft pick or much cap space to work with, Houston might miss out on their first choices. Rick Smith’s $72 million dollar flop in Brock Osweiler looms large. They can’t cut ties with him until next offseason. In a wide open AFC South, merely competent quarterback play could be enough to get Houston past Indianapolis and Tennessee. Additionally, Cutler will likely be more willing to turn the ball loose to boundary wonder DeAndre Hopkins, who was sparsely targeted by the gun shy Osweiler.

3.) Jacksonville Jaguars

Regardless of whatever Dave Caldwell says publicly, the Jaguars simply can’t head into 2017 with no competition for Blake Bortles. His mythologically long release and shoddy decision making sabotaged an offense bursting at the seams with young talent. If his market proves to be weak, competing for the starting job with Bortles could be Cutler’s best option. He’ll be surrounded by a talented young offensive nucleus headlined by Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and TJ Yeldon.

4.) Buffalo Bills

With Tyrod Taylor looking increasingly likely to return, this marriage seems unlikely. If Buffalo does cut ties, however, they could be a prime target for Cutler. Romo is unlikely to play for a team far from contending. Doug Whaley, however, has repeatedly indicated that he believes the team is a quarterback away from playoff contention. Cutler could be said quarterback.

5.) Denver Broncos

Wouldn’t this be juicy? While John Elway has a track record of bold moves, this doesn’t seem like a likely option. If anything, this is more of a Romo type place. Elway has publicly stated that he believes there are more pressing problems that quarterback. The scars of Cutler’s rocky fallout in 2009 remain a factor.

6.) San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are in as deep of rebuilding mode as any team in the last five years. There’s a reason Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch are on six-year contracts. This doesn’t seem like a good fit. However, with the 49ers, you never know anymore. There has been a lot of talk about Shanahan’s desire to coach a veteran quarterback.

7.) Cleveland Browns

I highly doubt Cutler ends up here. With Sashi Brown heading the personnel department, there are crazier things that have happened.

8.) Retirement

If Cutler doesn’t get any obvious bids for a starting job, what’s to say he doesn’t flat out retire from the league? He’s certainly made more than enough money for a lifetime or three. Ian Rappoport reported that an early exit is in play for the eleven-year starter.