If there is one player on the Chicago Bears that generates controversy even when he’s not on the field, it’s quarterback Jay Cutler.
Whether it’s stories involving his wife not feeling like Chicago is home or the fact that his signature apparently makes footballs being auctioned for charity worthless, Cutler is always in the news for one reason or another, even when the team isn’t playing.
On Tuesday, Cutler’s reputation was examined again by the good folks at ESPN, who came out with their annual ranking of the NFL’s quarterbacks. Breaking the players into four different tiers, the 35 league insiders that voted ranked quarterbacks based on their ability on the field, as well as their ability to win games without top-tier talent surrounding them.
In the voting, Cutler checked in at the number 20 spot, in a tie with Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders. He ended up ranking in Tier 3 on the list, which features “quarterbacks who are good enough to start but need lots of support, making it tougher to contend at the highest level.”
What’s interesting about the ranking isn’t just the fact that he’s ranked in the bottom half of NFL quarterbacks, but on just how toxic his reputation is in NFL circles.
“I’ve never seen a guy get paid that much money and see that many people fired around him,” an NFL head coach told ESPN. “It’s incredible. It’s never his fault. You could give him a 2, but I’d want him as a backup.”
With the start of training camp just over a week away, it’s hardly heartening to hear that kind of news, but it does illustrate just how low Cutler’s reputation is in NFL circles.
Cutler is the third-ranked NFC North quarterback, with Matthew Stafford of the Lions checking in at number 13 and Aaron Rodgers of the Packers tied for first in the ranking with Tom Brady.