Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler could be hit with the franchise tag, as the team continues to debate what to do with their starting quarterback. General manager Phil Emery told ESPN that the team "wouldn't rule out" a franchise tag, and that they will consider all options.
Emery had previously suggested that the team did not want to place the tag on Cutler, saying doing so would "hurt the team." Cutler, who is currently making $8.97 million in the final year of his deal, is projected to make $16.2 million if he is tagged as the franchise player.
Bears' backup Josh McCown posted a 3-2 record while Cutler was injured, stirring cries from some Chicago fans for the former first-round selection out of Vanderbilt to be benched for the rest of the season. Under first-year head coach and quarterback guru Marc Trestman, Cutler has thrown touchdowns on 5.4% of his passes (his highest mark since his rookie season), but has unable to cut down on his interceptions (3.4% of his passes, for the highest since 2010). The Bears are currently in first place in the NFC North with an 8-6 record.