Chicago Bears officially release QB Jay Cutler, move into new era

After eight seasons, Jay Cutler is no longer a Chicago Bear.

According to a report from Adam Schefter, Cutler asked for and was granted his release this morning, which will save the Bears $13 million in cap space for the purpose of signing free agents and rebuilding the roster.

So ends the tenure of easily the most polarizing player in recent (perhaps all) franchise history. And yet, interestingly, he clearly also was the most talented and productive quarterback the Bears ever had.

Cutler leaves the Bears as the franchise leader in four of eight major passing categories, including passing yards (22,384), attempts (3,271), completions (2,020), passing TDs (154), quarterback rating (85.2), 300-yard passing games (16), and, dubiously, most times sacked (251).

Interestingly, he didn’t come close to breaking the franchise record for interceptions held by Sid Luckman (132), as he only threw (112).

He ends his Bears career at an even 51-51 as a starter.

His career Bears highlights include a 2010 season that saw the team reach the NFC Championship game, and he leaves behind an incredibly controversial legacy, including his inability to finish said game due to an MCL injury, strife with his offensive coordinators, his penchant for unconscionable turnovers, and his overall persona as a surly “coach-killer” and “locker room cancer”.

But for all that, he remained well-respected by his teammates for his competitiveness, underrated leadership, and toughness.

Cutler’s departure clearly paves the way for a new era of Chicago Bears quarterbacks, led currently by newly signed free agent Mike Glennon. The Bears are also expected to draft a quarterback in the upcoming NFL draft.

The veteran QB has been linked to multiple teams, including the New York Jets, though it is unclear what the market will look like for the soon-to-be 35-year-old passer.

Regardless of the circumstances and all of the hot takes surrounding him, there’s no doubt that the man deserves respect for all that he gave to the Chicago Bears’ organization and to its fans.

God speed, #6.

Khari Thompson

I'm currently a graduate student studying biology at the University of Notre Dame that follows sports (especially the Bears and Bulls) less like a hobby and more like a second job. Also a fan of all things dinosaurs. And Tolkien. Twitter: @kdthompson5

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