Chicago Bears: Cutler open to franchise tag

Earlier this week on his radio show, Chicago Bears‘ quarterback Jay Cutler said he is not opposed to the idea of the Bears’ brass placing the franchise tag on him if a deal cannot be completed before the end of the year. Cutler is in the final year of his contract.

He also said he might hold out for a little while if the two sides cannot come to terms, but that is unfortunately something that is expected. He wants a chance to grow in head coach Marc Trestman’s offense, which averages the fourth-most points in the league at 27.5. He also feels confident in it, and confidence is a key element of a successful offense.

He is aware  it would be a business decision, and would feel comfortable knowing he has a strong core of offensive weapons around him. Currently, he has arguably the best wide receiver tandem in the league with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, a versatile running back who still has a lot of speed and is a valuable asset in the passing game, and an offensive line that can finally create holes and protect the quarterback.  The crown jewel of this offense is at the tight end position in Martellus Bennett. The Bears at long last have a tight end who can block, catch the ball and produce, unlike past tight ends.

To tag or not to tag- that is the Chicago Bears’ question

This offense is reason enough to stay positive in thinking that something big will happen within the next couple of years, if not this year. A franchise tag on Cutler could even give the Bears a chance to further develop McCown or draft a promising quarterback in case Cutler does not pan out in 2014.

Chicago Bears quarterbacks Josh McCown and Jay cutler

Franchise tagging Cutler could prove to be smart in regard to McCown’s development (Photo cred: Benny Sieu/ USA Today Sports

Something that is intriguing to me is Cutler actually had a midseason meeting with GM Phil Emery to discuss the state of the team. It is not surprising to see that, as most quarterbacks will at some point talk to the higher-ups. However, this should quiet all of the people who say Cutler does not care about this team. For one thing, he has been knocked around more times than any other quarterback I have seen and continues to lead the team. People also say he does not show enough emotion on the field. If you had a quarterback who showed emotion after every single play or turnover, wouldn’t that get stale after a while and look like he is phoning it in?

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Cutler gets a lot of grief, but he has shown through his play so far this year that he deserves at least one more year in this system. If things do not work out, there are always the options listed above. Only time will tell what will happen with Cutler, but fans should feel optimistic he wants to stick around and is making an effort to do so by initiating that conversation. It will certainly help if the Bears make the playoffs this year, but even if they do not there is still potential for him to be tagged for a year.

No matter what happens, the Bears are in a good place with a head coach who has proven to have success with quarterbacks and turning them into big-time players.

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