Not all NFL evaluators have given up on Jay Cutler.
Though a recent poll ranking the 32 starting NFL quarterbacks slotted him in the third tier of signal callers, tied for 20th overall with Oakland's Derek Carr, one scout believes Cutler takes too much criticism and can thrive in the right system.
Front office members and coaches listed each projected starting quarterback in tiers from 1 to 5, with one being a championship-caliber quarterback and four being an unproven starter who may not remain a starter. Thrity-five league insiders were polled, with 27 voters placing him in the third tier, reserved for "quarterbacks who are good enough to start but need lots of support, making it tougher to contend at the highest level."
One anonymous evaluator who ranked Cutler in the third tier had this to say about the nine-year veteran:
"I do not think he is the monster everyone has made him out to be," the evaluator said. "He does have issues, but can you win with him? Yes. That is why he is a 3, not a 4. If you protect him and get him to get the ball out and have a really good run game, he can be [good enough]. But he will turn it over, and you have to overcome that."
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Cutler may not have the best press clippings from time to time following games, but he's not the monster he's at times made out to be off the field, either. Last weekend Cutler hosted a four-hour youth football camp in Tennessee to support the Jay Cutler Foundation.
Eight voters placed Cutler in Tier 4, while one placed him in the rarely used Tier 5 because of his "damaging" presence to a team.
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Last year Cutler had one of his best statistical seasons as a pro, throwing for a career-high 28 touchdowns and throwing for more than 3,800 yards. The Bears, however, struggled to a 5-11 record and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year. Last year Cutler was ranked 17th in the same poll.
Unsurprisingly, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers was ranked first overall in the poll, tied with Tom Brady as a unanimous Tier 1 quarterback. Detroit's Matthew Stafford tied for 12th overall and in Tier 2, while Vikings sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater rounded out Tier 3 tied for 23rd overall.