Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:
“Looking forward to the quarterback situation in 2016, it appears to me Jay Cutler will be back with the team next year even though his guaranteed money has expired… Obviously they will pick up a free agent quarterback but what is your opinion at this point regarding the probability Cutler is back in 2016? — Patrick B., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.”
“For starters, Cutler currently has $10 million of his $16 million base salary for 2016 fully guaranteed. If he is on the roster on March 11, the remaining $6 million becomes guaranteed.”
“It’s way too early to start predicting precisely who they will have but it could be Cutler and a draft pick at the position or the Bears could go with another veteran and a draft pick. Or it could be some combination of the current collection of quarterbacks. I would guess the Bears take a long and hard look at quarterbacks in the 2016 draft class but we’re getting way ahead of ourselves right now.”
It drives me insane that the Bears didn’t draft a quarterback in the 2015 draft. Garrett Grayson was there in the third round when they chose an undersized center in Hroniss Grasu. Bears general manager Ryan Pace doomed the franchise to once again go with Cutler in 2016 by failing to address the position and use 2015 to develop a prospect.
It’s true that the Bears could draft a prospect in the first round and deal with the growing pains that come with starting him out of the gate. But a much better plan would have been to draft in a later round and develop, as his old team the Saints did. Worse, yet, a preliminary look at the draft prospects for 2016 has left me less than impressed. If there’s one that’s worth a high first round pick, I haven’t seen him, yet.
As it stands the odds are very good that we’ll hear the same thing in March 2016 that we heard in March 2015: “Who are you going to replace him with?” And that question is going to continue to echo as the Bears drift in mediocrity until someone finally implements a plan for the future at the position.