Finally time to say good-bye to Cutler

  • Mike North says with quarterback Jay Cutler finally out of the picture, the Bears would be smart to take Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, above, in this year's NFL draft.

    Mike North says with quarterback Jay Cutler finally out of the picture, the Bears would be smart to take Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, above, in this year's NFL draft. Associated Press File Photo

Posted2/24/2017 5:19 AM

Well, it's finally official: The Bears do not want to ask Jay Cutler to return to Lake Forest and are interested in trading him.

What took so long? I'll wager that as late as a month ago the Bears were thinking maybe one more year with Cutler might be an option.


But after the ticket-price increase and a sorry 3-13 season, someone finally figured out that Cutler's return might not fly with fans. Call that person a genius.

Now the big debate raging in the social- media world is not over the likelihood of Cutler starting for another team; no, it's more about CAN he start at all? I have never been a Cutler fan, but I do believe there are a few teams where he could start -- like the New York Jets, the San Francisco 49ers and the Cleveland Browns.

Yes, I know his sourpuss attitude, his lack of emotion or maybe plain indifference have to be turnoffs to many, but he could help these teams.

The Bears sunk eight years and millions of dollars (seven years $126.7 million with $54 million guaranteed) into a guy that now maybe no one wants. It's very possible he will play for someone else, but it's apparent the guy lacks something above and beyond not enough wins.

I compare Cutler to former Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Jake Plummer, a gunslinger with talent who just couldn't measure up and be a winning and effective quarterback.

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I'm proud to say I never wavered on Cutler when many fawned over him; I just couldn't buy into his act.

Now it's time for the Bears to draft a QB, a tough task for this franchise.

I can be honest about my mistakes; I was so on board when they drafted Cade McNown, but I also loved the pick of Jim Harbaugh, and he turned out to be pretty good.

So after much deliberation, I think the Bears should draft Deshaun Watson (NFL draft grade 6.39) from Clemson.

He beat Alabama, went to the college football finals two years in a row and has all the tools.

He has to get better at some things like bad decisions resulting in interceptions, but he is a closer, plus his body of work has to count for something. Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina might have a better draft grade (6.7), but I like Watson for the Bears.


Yet, why do I think the Bears will make the wrong move? Let's face it, they are the Bears, whose track record at the quarterback position isn't exactly stellar.

I know all the Notre Dame lovers will be clamoring for DeShone Kizer, but I think Watson is the guy.

He will have his doubters and will need some time to develop, but I think he's a leader, and if we can watch Cutler muddle through eight years, I'm willing to show some patience with Watson.

• Follow Mike on Twitter @north2north. Check out his podcast Monday-Friday at, iTunes or audioboom. His column appears each Fridays in the Daily Herald. For more, visit

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