Bears

Former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler officially joining FOX Sports as broadcaster

Former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler officially joining FOX Sports as broadcaster

Jay Cutler is taking his talents to the broadcast booth.

FOX Sports announced Friday morning that the former Bears quarterback is joining the network as a broadcaster, teaming with announcers Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis to call NFL games.

Cutler's first game in the booth will be a Bears-Titans preseason game on Aug. 27, according to Burkhardt.

"This is an exciting new chapter for me in football," Cutler said in the announcement. "I love the game so much and look forward to having a lot of fun on the road this year for FOX Sports."

It's a fascinating move for a guy criticized so heavily during his eight seasons with the Bears, during which he put up some of the best numbers by a quarterback in franchise history.

In eight seasons, Cutler threw for 23,443 yards, 154 touchdowns and 109 interceptions. He was frequently injured, never playing 16 games in a single season in Chicago and three times playing in 11 or fewer. But he also led the Bears to the brink of the Super Bowl, helping the team reach the NFC title game at the end of the 2010 season, the Bears' lone playoff appearance during the Cutler Era.

The team moved on from Cutler this offseason, handing quarterbacking duties first over to free agent Mike Glennon before drafting Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 pick in last week's draft.

[BEARS TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Apparently Cutler did have some talks with other NFL teams about playing this season but ultimately opted to go with this new gig.

Cutler made an additional statement about shifting from the field to the booth:

"I don't know if retirement is the right word," he said. "I don't feel that anyone ever really retires from the NFL. You are either forced to leave or you lose the desire to do what's required to keep going. I'm in between those situations at this point in my life.

"Words can't express how grateful I am to everyone who helped me along my journey. I started playing tackle football at the age of 10 and was so lucky to have supportive parents and great coaches along the way that made my path possible. If I listed each person individually, this would quickly turn into an essay, but you know who you are and I wouldn't be in this situation without you. So thank you.

"To my parents, my sisters, my wife, my kids — thank you for putting your wants and needs on the back burner while I played a game every Friday, Saturday or Sunday. You made it all possible.

"I recently read a quote that struck a cord with me at the time. It was attributed to Henry Rollins (but with the internet these days, you can never be too sure). 'I did that, I gave everything I had to give to that. Now, if I returned to that it would be repetition — it might be fun repetition, but it wouldn't be meaningful repetition.' Thank you to everyone along the way. You made my dream come true."

Cutler might've been jokingly talked about as someone who had a "don't care" attitude on the field, but no Bears fan can tell you honestly they don't care to see what Cutler is like calling games.

Ryan Pace ranked among bottom-third of NFL general managers

Ryan Pace ranked among bottom-third of NFL general managers

Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace is having what many believe is his best offseason since taking the job in 2015, but after three seasons and only 14 wins, he needs a big year in 2018 to justify the confidence ownership has in him. 

According to a recent breakdown of all 32 general managers, Pace ranks among the worst decision-makers in the league.

No. 23: Ryan Pace, Chicago Bears

There’s only so much you can accomplish in one spring. The problem is that Pace let himself accumulate so many needs to begin with. He needs Trubisky and Nagy to springboard a fourth-year turnaround. 

The rankings didn't include six new GM hires, which makes Pace's positioning even more troubling.

Even though the Bears haven't seen wins on the field, Pace has done a solid job through three draft classes and appears to have the right coaching staff in place. His first hire, John Fox, was a calculated move by a rookie general manager to have an experienced football guy to lean on. Now, several offseasons later, the team is starting to take on his identity.

Despite all the talent Pace has added through the draft and the slow but steady transformation of the team's overall culture, it's a win-now business and if his blueprint doesn't start producing more wins than losses, it will be hard to justify more time and patience for his plan to develop.

Is Danny Trevathan's Bears' future in doubt after NFL Draft? 'It depends on how you look at it'

Is Danny Trevathan's Bears' future in doubt after NFL Draft? 'It depends on how you look at it'

The NFL Draft is a necessary evil if you’re a veteran player, especially if your team just drafted two players at the position you play and your contract doesn’t provide much job security beyond the upcoming season. 

That’s the spot Danny Trevathan is in now. The Bears nabbed Roquan Smith with the eighth overall pick in April's NFL Draft, then used their fourth-round selection on Joel Iyiegbuniwe. Both players are inside linebackers; the Bears could net $6.4 million in cap savings if they release Trevathan following the 2018 season. 

Trevathan, though, isn’t approaching 2018 like the writing is on the wall for it to be his final year in Chicago. 

“It depends on how you look at it,” Trevathan said. “For me, it is what it is, (Smith’s) a good player and he’s going to help us out on defense. You just want to go ahead and do your job and keep working. He’s a good player, just like we’ve all got some good players out here. But he’s … we got the right guy to fit our defense. He’s working his tail off and he fits in with our linebacker group.”

That Trevathan answered a question about the decision to draft Smith, specifically, in that manner isn’t surprising. The 28-year-old is one of the most respected leaders in the Bears locker room, the kind of guy who sets the tone for the rest of the defense (in other words: Exactly what you want out of a veteran inside linebacker). Trevathan offered plenty of praise for Smith not only as a player, but for how he’s approached his first few practices wearing a Bears helmet. 

“He's quick, instinctive, learns well,” Trevathan said. “He's just out here trying to get better. That's what I like about him. He's calling the call sheets out. He's learning the plays. That's what you want in him. You want him to come out here and be humble. You want him to work hard. I see that in his eyes, coming out here. It's a lot of lights on him. It's a lot of attention on him. But he's finding himself out here, coming out here and trying to make some plays.”

The reality, though, is that Smith may not be the one to take Trevathan’s job, if it comes to that. The best-case outlook for Iyiegbuniwe would appear to be that the Bears found a fourth-round steal who can pair with Smith as Vic Fangio’s long-term inside linebacking tandem. If “Iggy” proves to be that guy, then Trevathan could indeed find his place in Chicago in jeopardy. 

And, too, even if Iyiegbuniwe doesn’t quickly develop into a starting-caliber player, the Bears could still decide to cut ties with Trevathan if Smith proves to be elite. 

The best way for Trevathan to make sure he’s still here in a year, though, is to play a full 16-game season — something he hasn’t done since 2013, and he's missed 11 games since signing a four-year deal in 2016. 

But when Trevathan is on the field, his speed and physicality are a critical component to the Bears’ success. That won't change in 2018, at the least. 

"(He has) that veteran experience," coach Matt Nagy said. "We went against Danny when I was in Kansas City and he was at Denver so we always knew what kind of player he was. He has the demeanor to him, a focus, he's very serious when he's out there on the field and he'll have a great mentorship, he'll be a great mentor for Roquan."