It was just last offseason that the new Chicago Bears regime didn’t put any security in Jay Cutler’s job with the team. Now after an improved season from the quarterback, General Manager Ryan Pace has ensured his trust in Cutler.
Pace highlighted Cutler’s improved play under offensive coordinator Adam Gase this season when speaking to the media at Halas Hall on Monday. “I think Jay knows that we have extreme confidence in him,” Pace told the media. “We’re going to continue to build the offense around him.”
For a front office that was actively shopping the quarterback last offseason, a lot has changed for the good since then. The Bears will move forward with Cutler into next season, hoping that the offense can take the next step. It should help that the team will get wide receiver Kevin White back, who missed all 16 games with a shin injury in his rookie season.
Under Gase, Cutler put up some impressive numbers and didn’t have a multi-interception game until week 17 against the Lions. Even then, one of those interceptions was tipped and another came after someone hit Cutler’s arm. He finished with 3,659 yards, 21 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions on the season.
Real security. RT @AroundTheNFL: Bears GM Pace: We have “extreme confidence” in Jay Cutler. Will build offense around him.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 4, 2016
Cutler also has the respect of his teammates in the locker room as well as being the best option available for the near future. He’s only owed $10 million guaranteed in 2016 as part of his contract extension he signed after the 2013 season.
While Bears fans might be worried that Cutler’s production could drop if Gase finds a head coaching job, both Pace and John Fox remain confident he can keep the play up.
“We have a plan in place,” Fox told the media. “Finding good, quality coaches have never been a problem.”
That statement could be put to the test in the next couple of weeks.