It’s not a secret that the Jets desperately need a QB. It’s also not a secret that Jay Cutler and the Bears aren’t quite working out — hence Cutler’s benching in favor of Jimmy Clausen to wrap up an ugly season in Chicago.
The problem with trading for Cutler is that he also comes with a contract … a not so friendly contract. Let me refresh your memory, because I had almost forgotten this myself.
Last offseason, Cutler inked a seven-year/$126.7 million deal that includes $54 million guaranteed. This just might be the worst contract in the NFL. Think about that for a second … the Bears have six seasons left on that deal (although you can get out of any deal pretty easily in the NFL once the guaranteed money is paid out) and already deeply regret it. Usually these types of overpayments aren’t regrettable until the fourth or fifth year … not before the first season is over!
Regardless of Cutler’s play, unless he turns into Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, he was never going to be worth the money. I’m not a big Cutler guy myself. He just doesn’t seem to provide the certain “it” that I look for in a QB. But even if a team really likes him, nobody likes that contract.
However, if any one team might consider taking on Jay and his heaping pile of cash, something tells me it would be the Jets.
Leave the money in the rearview for a moment.
Here’s last season’s QB comparison:
Jay Cutler — 3,812 yards, 28 TDs, 18 INTs, 192 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs (played in 15 games, while Clausen appeared in four games).
Geno Smith — 2,525 yards, 13 TDs, 13 INTs, 238 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD (played in 14 games, while Michael Vick appeared in 10 games, but threw for just over 600 yards and 3 TDs).
Truthfully, there is no comparison. One of Cutler’s worst years in the NFL puts what was supposed to be Smith’s “breakout season” to shame.
The Jets also added the likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick (who has had moderate success) and drafted Bryce Petty (selected in the fourth-round from Baylor). Trotting Fitzpatrick out there is essentially admitting defeat to the same degree as going with Geno again, while tossing Petty into the fire to start his career would be totally unfair (and a disaster).
The Jets are built to win now. They have all the tools to do so, with the exception of someone to throw the football — something Cutler can do well whether you like him or not.
Rex Ryan may be in Buffalo, but Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie are locking down the secondary for Gang Green once again, while No. 6 overall pick Leonard Williams is expected to add to potentially the best defensive front in football.
New York doesn’t have an elite RB, but does have plenty of depth at a position where we generally see a lot of injuries and rotations. More importantly to the case for Cutler, the Jets boast the best WR duo they’ve had in years with Brandon Marshall (yes, this would be the third different team to pair him with Cutler) and Eric Decker.
If someone wants to finally dethrone the Patriots in this division, it’s going to take an aggressive move. A move that has the potential to be a bonehead move, unless it’s handed with the correct care. Come to think of it, Ryan’s Bills are in a very similar scenario.
Place Cutler in either situation that New York or Buffalo offers (think LeSean McCoy, Sammy Watkins, Percy Harvin in BUF) and he’d be set up nicely for AT LEAST as strong of a season as he is in Chicago — probably better when you factor in offensive line play. Not only would Cutler receive a boost in fantasy value, all those names I listed at WR/RB for that team would as well. It would be strange to consider an AFC East team not named the Patriots actually having some weapons, but I’m sure we could all get used to it.
The bottom line is simply that the NFL’s a league where you need a QB to win. There used to be ways around it, but not here in 2015.
No team is stupid enough to offer up a top tier QB — unless we run into a once in a generation Manning/Colts saga again (let’s not banks on that). A guy like Cutler simply may be the best option the Jets (or Bills) have the potential to add until 10 years from now for all we know. That’s reason enough to go for it. Not to mention the move would provide us with a whole lot of fun on the field, and the DFS world.
Find me on Twitter @julianedlow