Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler signed a $54 million contract extension less than a year ago–and that money’s guaranteed. You know what’s not guaranteed? That a Culter throw will find a Bears receiver. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance the opposing team will catch a Cutler pass. (Cutler leads NFL quarterbacks this season with 18 interceptions.) That’s not good in the football business.
So the Bears are giving Jimmy Clausen the start on Sunday against the formidable Detroit Lions. It’s week 16 and Bears coach Marc Trestman apparently just doesn’t want to see Cutler throw INT #19. There are only two games left in the regular season, and Trestman has got little to lose. Except his players. Nothing against Jimmy Clausen, but the Bears, for better or worse, are Cutler’s team. He’s the franchise quarterback, he’s got the contract to prove it, and he’s the leader in the locker room–according to Jeff Dickerson at ESPN. Dickerson tweets “There is genuine disbelief inside #Bears‘ locker room that Cutler got benched.” There’s tension in the locker room after some public criticism of Cutler and an apology by the Bears offensive coordinator. That’s making a lot of smoke. But maybe the fire is really the 18 interceptions.