Even when met with skepticism around the league, the Chicago Bears expressed confidence that signing quarterback Jay Cutler to a seven-year deal worth $126 million in January was the right move. However, after a 5-8 start that has the Bears all but eliminated from the playoffs, they are feeling "serious buyer's remorse," according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
The Bears considered benching Jay Cutler in a 21-13 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nov. 23. The offense didn't score in the first half against the Bucs' bottom-10 defense, going three-and-out four times in their first six drives. The main reason Cutler was kept in the game, according to Rapoport, was because his backup is Jimmy Clausen, who has only thrown three touchdowns passes to 11 interceptions in his career.
While he has 3,400 yards and 26 touchdown passes this season, Cutler leads the NFL with 15 interceptions on a disappointing Bears team many people expected to challenge for a NFC North title. The seven-year contract would keep Cutler in Chicago past his 37th birthday, but the Bears are now doubting Cutler can lead them where they want to go. The team could save $12.5 million against the cap by trading him this offseason.
Chicago is also expected to move on from defensive coordinator Mel Tucker after this season, barring an improvement in the final three games, per Rapoport. Chicago is the worst scoring defense in the league, allowing 29 points a game this year.