Bears GM Ryan Pace wouldn't reveal the team's plans regarding the quarterback situation in 2017, but during Wednesday's season-ending press conference Pace made it clear that the organization will explore all options.
While Pace didn't get into specifics, he said that "everything is on the table" including free agency, draft, trade and players currently on the roster when talking about the QB position.
Could that mean Jay Cutler would still be an option?
Cutler, who is currently at Halas Hall rehabbing from his shoulder surgery, met with Pace on Monday, but the decision on his future in Chicago "hasn't been completely finalized yet."
"He [Cutler] will be the first to know," Pace said in response to a question about Cutler's future.
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Cutler is the only quarterback on the current roster signed beyond 2017, but the Bears could cut ties with the veteran QB. Both Matt Barkley and Brian Hoyer are set to become unrestricted free agents, and it's expected that the Bears will bring at least one of them back next season.
The Bears could also use the No. 3 overall pick on their quarterback of the future or explore the trade market in which both Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo and Bengals backup A.J. McCarron are expected to be available for the right price.
Whichever route the Bears go, Pace was candid about the importance of the position moving forward.
"In my mind there is no more important position than the quarterback."