No, this isn’t a joke.
The Chicago Bears released Jay Cutler on Thursday, the same day NFL free agency began, and fans and pundits immediately pointed toward the New York Jets as a potential destination for the polarizing quarterback. Well, it appears that chatter isn’t just internet speculation.
Cutler and the Jets have expressed mutual interest, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. It’s unclear at this point whether the sides have been in touch, but New York’s level of interest likely boils down to whether the organization thinks he’ll have a positive impact off the field in addition to whatever he provides between the lines.
“The Jets do have some interest in Jay Cutler. And I’m told he has interest in them as well,” Rapoport said Friday NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.” “At this point, it’s really a matter of fit. There are a couple questions the Jets have to ask themselves: Is Jay Cutler the kind of quarterback that you want in your quarterback room?
“They have a couple young guys who they’d like to bring along — Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty. Jay Cutler does not always have the greatest reputation for dealing with teammates, whether or not that is reality we’re not exactly sure. But do you want to bring Jay Cutler into your quarterback room? That’s one question. It is pretty obvious, though, he is the best veteran quarterback option out there. I would expect some sort of contact between Cutler and the Jets some point soon.”
The Jets are among several teams that need a quarterback after Ryan Fitzpatrick bombed last season following a very productive 2015 campaign. As Rapoport mentioned, they have a couple of young signal callers on their roster. But it’s fair to question whether either is ready to lead an NFL franchise.
If neither Hackenberg nor Petty is ready, New York could look to add a placeholder veteran like Cutler, who spent his last eight seasons with the Bears after three seasons with the Denver Broncos to open his career. Cutler, who turns 34 next month, is coming off a season in which he played just five games, though, so it’s not like they should expect him to tip the scales in the AFC East.
That said, it sure would be an entertaining match.
Thumbnail photo via Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports Images