The Chicago Tribune reports:
The Jay Cutler era in Chicago is officially over.
After eight seasons, the Bears have shown their hand and their desire to start a new chapter at quarterback, releasing Cutler on Thursday. The move comes in conjunction with the team’s push to sign free-agent Mike Glennon. …
The Cutler news registers as significant but not surprising. All assumptions coming out of last season had been that the Bears likely would move in a new direction at the most important position on their roster. And now they are set to do so, closing the back cover on an era that had flashes of promise but never reached the heights many thought it could.
Cutler made 102 regular-season starts over his eight seasons in Chicago, rewriting the franchise record books for passing. He became the Bears’ career leader in completions, completion percentage, passing yards, touchdown passes and quarterback rating. Yet he will also be defined by his inconsistency and inability to carry the Bears on a sustained run of success.
Cutler committed 139 turnovers during his time in Chicago and helped the Bears to the playoffs only once — at the end of his second season in 2010. He also missed 25 starts because of injuries — and one because of a benching — during his Bears career.
Cutler missed the final six games of the 2011 season after breaking his right thumb and watched the Bears nose-dive from 7-3 and in the thick of playoff contention to 8-8 and a third-place division finish.
Cutler suffered multiple injuries last season, first missing five starts with a sprained thumb on his throwing hand. He later suffered a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder in a road loss to the Giants. That setback turned out to be season-ending and offered an unceremonious conclusion to Cutler’s tenure with the Bears.
Which means no more of this:
Jay Jay the Interception Machine threw a number of passes that combined bad mechanics with not looking where you’re throwing. But is Cutler to blame for playing with bad receivers (the best of whom, Alshon Jeffery, is leaving for Philadelphia), a poor offensive line and a defense that often played like the Misfits of the Midway? With a better team, he might have had better results. Without a better team, Glennon, the latest horse on the Bears’ historical Merry-Go-Round of quarterbacks, is unlikely to do any better.