NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that the soon to be ex-Bears quarterback is considering retirement at age 33.
While this struck the football cognoscenti as a clear attempt to torpedo what’s left of his trade value and send him into free agency, it also serves as a notice that Cutler is closer to the end of his NFL career than the beginning.
Many past teammates will affirm that Cutler cares little about how those in his own locker room perceive him, either. Cutler has gone through 11 NFL seasons living in his own stronghold of Cutlertude.
A man so seemingly interrupted from his interpersonal shortcomings that photoshops of Cutler carelessly dangling a cigarette from his mouth .
Cutler’s DGAF aura has also been connected to his desire to play football. Many Bears fans never forgave Cutler for coming out of the 2010 NFC Championship Game with a unexplained knee injury that was later diagnosed as an MCL sprain.
The prevailing thought, Cutler had tapped out in the midst of a miserable performance at frozen Soldier Field — stuck with him. Cutler and the Bears never returned to the playoffs in the six seasons that followed, costing the quarterback any chance to alter that ugly January legacy
That game damaged Cutler’s reputation plenty, but not his wallet or the Bears’ faith. Three years later, he signed a seven-year, $126 million extension that included $54 million guaranteed money.
On the day the deal was announced, then-Bears general manager Phil Emery described Cutler as a demonstrated winner who showed he could ”be the reason you win.
The fact that you completely forgot Emery used to run Chicago’s football operation says plenty about how that deal worked out. Cutler led the league in coordination in the first year of that deal and the Bears went 5-11, 6-10 and 3-13 over three seasons before informing Cutler this January they were going in a different direction behind center.