Dolphins Odds: Can Jay Cutler Get Miami to Playoffs?

jay-cutler-dolphinsThe Miami Dolphins had a breakthrough year after going 10-6 and making the playoffs. Now they’ll hope to repeat this performance after signing quarterback Jay Cutler.

The former Chicago Bears QB was transitioning into becoming a broadcaster. However, Miami head coach and former Bears offensive Adam Gase contacted Cutler after starer Ryan Tannehill tore his ACL.

According to NFL.com, Cutler signed a one-year, $10-million deal with another $3 million in possible incentives. The money is low for a starting-caliber quarterback. But the 34-year-old walks back into an ideal situation under the former OC that he had success with in Chicago.

The big question now is what we can expect with Cutler as the Dolphins quarterback. We’ll discuss this below and also cover how Cutler impacts the Dolphins’ 2017 odds.

Regaining a Passion for Football

The problem with Cutler is that he spent the offseason working on his broadcasting skills, rather than on his passing skills. But this is a good thing because he was losing passion for the game after last season.

jay-cutler-bears“I don’t know if retirement is the right word; I don’t feel that anyone ever really retires from the NFL,” Cutler said after retiring and announcing that he’d be working for FOX Sports. “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.”

Being out of the game for months likely gave Cutler a fresh perspective on football. And this will help the 11-year veteran since he had a down season with Chicago in 2016.

Cutler threw for 1,059 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions in just 5 games. A shoulder injury kept him sidelined for most of the year. However, Cutler failed to regain his job after becoming healthy again.

Cutler could be Good in Reunion with Gase

Some question how well Cutler will do in Miami, given how his time in Chicago ended. But the key thing that could help him is a reunion with Gase.

The former Bears OC guided Chicago’s offense in 2015. And Cutler had one of his most-efficient seasons, tallying 3,659 passing yards, 21 TD passes, 11 interceptions, and a 64.4% completion rate. Cutler’s 92.3 passer rating in 2015 was the highest of his career.

Gase got the best out of Cutler by altering the latter’s free-wheeling style. Instead, Cutler focused on making less-risky throws and concentrating on completions. The result was a 2.3% interception rate, which is his lowest ever.

Of course, this isn’t the same Cutler that’s walking into Miami. He’s now 34 and is likely in poor shape compared to previous seasons. What’s worse is that he’s only played 5 games in the past two years.

Nevertheless, Cutler makes perfect sense for Miami. He knows Gase’s offense and is an obvious upgrade over backup Matt Moore.

There’s no light at the end of the tunnel because Tannehill won’t be available all year. So it was either Cutler or Colin Kaepernick in terms of starting-level free agents. Cutler knows the offense, which made it easier for Gase and the Dolphins to give him a call.

Limited Action in Dolphins Debut

Jay has one preseason game under his belt in a Miami uniform. However, his limited action against the Baltimore Ravens offered few hints on how he’ll do the rest of the year.

But it’s still worth reporting that he took 12 snaps (including penalties) and completed 3-of-6 passes for 24 yards. Cutler also completed a 31-yarder to receiver DeVante Parker. But the play was nullified by a holding call.

He took one big hit on a third-and-long play,. Baltimore’s Za’Darius Smith put Cutler into the dirt just after he fired an incomplete pass.

This convinced Gase to pull Cutler on the next play in favor of Moore. And Moore didn’t play long either, with third-stringer David Fales taking most of the game’s snaps.

Again, it’s hard to tell what Cutler has from the small sample size. But this was a nice tuneup for a player who’s quickly stepping into Miami’s starting role.

Miami Dolphins 2017/18 Odds

The Dolphins are a mystery because they’re dealing with a major quarterback injury and getting Cutler ready.

Gase hopes that they can build on the 2016 campaign, where they made the playoffs. Miami suffered a 30-12 loss to Pittsburgh with Tannehill missing this Wild Card game. But they feel that they could’ve competed with a healthy Tannehill.

Here are their GTBets odds entering the 2017 regular season:

  • Odds to win AFC East – Miami +1000
  • Odds to win AFC Championship – Miami +3000
  • Odds to win Super Bowl – Miami +6500
  • Week 1 Odds vs. Tampa Bay – Miami +1.5 (-110)

jay-ajayi-dolphinsAs their odds show, nobody realistically expects this team to win the Super Bowl. They’re even big underdogs with regard to winning their own division. That’s because New England (-1600) is the clear-and-away favorite to take the AFC East crown.

But Miami can certainly be competitive and challenge for a playoff spot again if everything comes together.

Much relies on if Cutler has anything left after 11 seasons. He’ll be aided by a solid receiving corp that includes Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker. Landry led Miami last season with 1,136 receiving yards on 94 catches, while Parker racked up 744 yards on 56 catches.

The Dolphins will rely heavily on Jay Ajayi, who rushed for 1,272 yards and 8 touchdowns. If Ajayi can get through the season healthy, then he should put up big numbers.

Miami will also have a strong defense that’s anchored by defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, defensive end Cameron Wake, and linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Cowboys 2017 Odds: Will Ezekiel Elliott be Suspended?

ezekiel-elliott-suspensionRunning back Ezekiel Elliott played a huge part in the Dallas Cowboys’ success last year. But he could very well be suspended for part of the 2017 season.

The organization is hoping that he avoids suspension stemming from a 2015 domestic violence incident with his former girlfriend.

After all, Elliott has played one full NFL season, participated in the Pro Bowl, and completed offseason conditioning. Plus, Columbus prosecutors aren’t even bringing charges against him.

Nevertheless, Commissioner Roger Goodell has shown that he’s more than capable of issuing a late suspension (see Deflate-Gate). And a recent report suggests that Elliott could face suspension.

Let’s discuss this report below along with how a potential Elliott suspension will impact the Cowboys’ 2017 odds.

Evidence Mounting for a Possible Elliott Suspension

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, “there’s a growing sense” that the Dallas running back will at least miss a few games.

ezekiel-elliott“This is the question that everybody has been waiting over a year to have answered, whether or not Ezekiel Elliott will wind up facing discipline,” said Schefter.

“I think there’s a growing sense that he could face some sort of short suspension here in the coming weeks. Once the NFL wraps up its investigation.”

He added, “It’s not over yet. But it is definitely far along into the process. Zeke Elliott still has to respond to the NFL’s recent findings. The NFL has given some report. And at some point in the coming weeks, Zeke Elliott will respond to the NFL’s report.”

Elliott is “Bracing” for Suspension

While nothing is given now, even Elliott must think that there’s some chance he’ll miss time this season.

“I think that Elliott is bracing for a short suspension here in the coming weeks,” said Schefter. “And we’ll see how that impacts the season. Keep in mind that the Dallas Cowboys open with the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos.”

Schefter continued, “There’s a chance he could miss maybe one, both of those games. But again, the NFL has not made any final determinations. It’s still going through its investigation … But again, I think there’s a growing sense that Zeke Elliott is going to face some sort of discipline. And it very well could include a short suspension.”

Elliott Unhappy about Pace of NFL’s Investigation

zeke-elliott-suspensionElliott spoke with the Forth Worth Star-Telegram about the possible suspension.

And he would like to see this matter wrapped up sooner than later.

“I do want closure,” he said. “I do. I would rather them not drag it on as long. I think if there was something to find, which there’s not, they would’ve found it by now. The police did a very thorough investigation.

“I will tell you this. It just seems like they’re dragging their feet right now. Who knows, man? I just want it to end.”

How would Elliott’s Suspension Compare to Josh Brown Last Year

Last year, New York Giants kicker Josh Brown served a 1-game suspension amid documented evidence that he abused his wife. And there was league and public outcry for the weak discipline.

Given that Elliott isn’t even being charged in his case, it’s hard to draw a parallel here. That said, will the NFL suspend him at all for an incident that occurred in college?

Or will they come down hard on Elliott to make up for the botched handling of Brown’s case?

Elliott’s Bar Altercation could Weigh In

ezekiel-elliott-salvation-army-potZeke Elliott hasn’t exactly laid low leading up to a possible suspension. According to Mike Fisher, from 105.3 The Fan, the Pro Bowler was involved in an incident at Dallas’ Clutch Bar.

Speaking on Facebook Life, Fisher said that somebody was punched, police were called, and an ambulance came to the bar. Fisher didn’t say if Elliott threw the punch(es).

Schefter said that police made a statement “regarding the Sunday night altercation that involved Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott.”

The statement fails to mention Elliott, and it doesn’t say if any arrests have been made. But a 30-year-old man was assaulted and taken to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The Dallas Police Department is currently investigating the matter.

Dallas 2017 Odds & Impact of Elliott Suspension

Currently, our GTBets book has Dallas’ odds as follows:

Cowboys Winning Super Bowl: +1000
Cowboys Winning NFC Championship: +500
Cowboys Winning NFC East: +140

Obviously these don’t take into account Elliott’s potential suspension because it hasn’t happened yet. But if Elliott were to be suspended – as reporters believe could happen – it would impact the Cowboys’ chances.

As Schefter reported, Dallas faces the Giants and @Broncos to open the regular season. These are already tough games, let alone when you don’t have your star running back.

The road doesn’t get any easier because Dallas also faces: Green Bay (Oct. 8), @Washington (Oct 29), Kansas City (Nov 5), @Atlanta (Nov 12), @NY Giants (Dec 10), @Oakland (Dec 17), and Seattle (Dec 24).

In all, Dallas faces playoff teams 8 times over the regular season. And this includes an away date with the defending NFC champion Falcons.

Things will already be difficult enough for the Cowboys. So if a suspension comes, they’ll be hoping for a one gamer.

A 1-game suspension would’t devastate Dallas’ odds. But a 2-game suspension could create the realistic chance that the Cowboys lose their first two games. And once this happens, it’s very difficult to make the playoffs.

Washington Fumbles Kirk Cousins’ Contract Talks – How does It Impact 2017 Odds?

kirk-cousins-redskinsKirk Cousins’ audition for a bigger contract was supposed to be the 2016/17 season. After all, the Washington Redskins put the franchise tag on him for $20 million in a wait-and-see situation.

This summer, Cousins said that he wants to wait on a contract and see what his offers are in 2019. Afterward, the Redskins released a derogatory statement that may have destroyed their chances at re-signing the Pro Bowl quarterback.

Let’s take a look at the statement and discuss how this dissension could affect the Redskins 2017/18 odds.

Washington Puts Blame on Cousins

Before we get into the statement, it must be reiterated that the Redskins – not Cousins – chose to wait the first time. They also complained about how Cousins wouldn’t sign a team-friendly long-term contract.

kirk-cousins-steelersSo how can they be angry when Cousins turns around and does the exact same thing to them? When they decided that the 2015 season – where Cousins threw for 4,166 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions – wasn’t enough to evaluate him?

The 28-year-old not only passed the test last year – he exceeded it with 4,917 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.

His reward – the following statement from team president Bruce Allen:

“Despite our repeated attempts, we have not received any offer from Kirk’s agent this year. Kirk has made it clear that he prefers to play on a year-to-year basis. While we would have liked to work out a long-term contract before this season, we accept his decision.”

The key part is that the Redskins “accept his decision.” As if this isn’t rude enough, Allen apparently believes that the quarterback’s name is “Kurt” Cousins.

The Redskins Screwed Up Big Time

This statement is about as passive-aggressive as you can get. Allen is trying to tell fans that Cousins is the one who’s holding up the deal.

But the reality is that Washington screwed up not once, but twice.

redskins-bruce-allenWe can give them a pass on not giving Cousins a huge deal after one good season. But then he proved that he’s worth the money last year. This was supposed to result in a big long-term contract.

However, Washington lowballed him again in a rising quarterback market. They wanted him to take a team-friendly 6-year deal, with only two seasons guaranteed.

That’s mistake #1.

Then Washington not only undervalues Cousins with a weak deal, but tries making him out to be the bad guy.

Mistake #2.

Maybe Cousins will overlook these slights and come to an agreement with the Redskins in the 2019 offseason. Then again, maybe he’s pissed off and will take the first great deal he sees from another team.

And for comparison, let’s look at the Pittsburgh Steelers when they couldn’t get a deal done with Le’Veon Bell:

“Unfortunately, we were unable to agree to terms on a long-term contract with Le’Veon Bell prior to today’s deadline. Le’Veon is scheduled to play this year under the Exclusive Franchise Tag designation. We will resume our efforts to address his contract situation following the 2017 season.”

GM Kevin Colbert’s statement doesn’t blame Bell. It doesn’t try to rip him for not taking a team-friendly offer. Colbert just says that they’ll try again during the season.

Here’s how Much Cousins is Getting Paid

kirk-cousins-nflUnder the current franchise tag deal, Cousins will get $23.9 million this season, plus $28.7 million for the 2018 transition tag. That adds up to $52.6 million over the next two years.

Washington wanted to give him two seasons guaranteed at $53 million, plus four more years where they could decide to keep or cut him.

It’s easy to see why Cousins won’t take the same amount of money to let the bumbling Redskins control his fate over the next 6 seasons. Instead, why not take the next two seasons’ worth of money and see what you can get on the free agent market in 2019?

Cousins Figures to Get Big Money on the Free Agent Market

It’s likely that Cousins at least stays within the same range he’s been playing over the last two seasons. And if that’s the case, he’s due for a pay raise.

Assuming Cousins averages 4,500 yards and a 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio, some team will offer him top-5 quarterback money. We’re talking $25-$30 million, with $75-$90 million guaranteed.

2017/18 Redskins Odds & Season Outlook

kirk-cousins-2016Currently, we have the Washington Redskins odds of winning the Super Bowl at +5000. For comparison, our GTBets sportsbook puts the Tennessee Titans (+4000) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3000) at better odds.

Normally I’d say that Washington is undervalued in this scenario.

But then again, the Redskins did just blow negotiations with their team leader. And this is never a good thing to do when you’re just over a month away from the regular season.

The team also lost their top two wide receivers in free agency. GM Scot McCloughan was fired after somebody anonymously decimated his character to the press. And they’ve failed to add the type of talent that can compete in a rising NFC East.

Based on the way things are going, we don’t see Washington staying with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants at the top of the division. In fact, they’ll be lucky to beat Philadelphia out for third place in the division.

2017 Jets will be NFL’s Worst Team – Even Much Worse than Browns

2017-jets-otasThe New York Jets entered the 2016-17 NFL season full of promise. After all, they were coming off a surprise 10-6 season where they narrowly missed the playoffs. Then New York lost 6 of their first 7 games and things never got better.

What hope do the Jets have for a turnaround in the 2017-18 campaign?

Very little…in fact, they’re likely to be the league’s worst team. In comparison, the 2017 Browns could look like Super Bowl contenders.

The truth is that New York may not mind their position because they need a quarterback badly. And the prize for finishing last will likely be USC quarterback Sam Darnold in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What’s most shocking about the Jets’ descent is how quickly it’s happened. They poured $168 million into five free agents in the 2015 offseason – and it paid off in the form of a 10-6 record. Then everything went wrong in 2016 as they limped to a 4-12 record.

brandon-marshall-jetsThings will only get worse because the team lost Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall, Nick Mangold, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Clady, David Harris, Eric Decker, and Calvin Pryor from last year’s squad. Harris and Decker were actually cut this month, showing that New York isn’t confident in their chances this season.

Jets fans will be in misery watching the team in 2017. That said, let’s go through the reasons why they’ll struggle so badly.

Overall Reasons why Jets will be so Bad

New York is tanking, and we can’t blame them. Even if they’d brought back all of their veterans, they’d be lucky to win 6-7 games. So why spend money on another below-average team?

As we’ll cover later, everything begins with the Jets’ quarterback situation. Without a decent signal caller, this squad has no chance to move the ball any better than they did last season.

The defensive line will be the lone bright spot in an otherwise lost season. Unfortunately, the rest of the defense – especially cornerback – doesn’t have much to offer. If New York is going to get sacks, few of them will be through coverage.

2017 Jets Offseason Moves

josh-mccown-jetsNew York’s biggest moves include spending $34 million guaranteed to keep tackle Benjamin Ijalana and lure tackle Kelvin Beachum away from the Jacksonville Jaguars. They also signed respectable journeyman QB Josh McCown for $6 million and cornerback Morris Claiborne for $5 million.

These are good moves, but they don’t quite cover it.

The Jets tried for New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower, but he stayed put with the Patriots. They got a solid first-round draft pick in LSU safety Jamal Adams, but then they drafted safety Marcus Maye in the second round. Both Adams and Maye could end up being very good safeties, but these are curious picks for a rebuilding team.

2017 Jets QB Situation

hackenberg-jetsNow we get to the worst of the worst – New York’s quarterback. They took Christian Hackenberg in the second round last season, despite concerns about his accuracy. Given that Hackenberg is hitting reporters with passes, things don’t look much better right now.

The Penn State product didn’t get any experience last season either. He had a poor preseason, then failed to get on the field, even when the team was losing badly. Perhaps he can still show signs of improvement this season. But if the 37-year-old McCown plays the whole year, then we know that Hackenberg is a failed draft pick.

Problems on the Horizon

sheldon-richardsonAs mentioned before, New York’s best position will be the D-line. But this is only if the players they’re counting on come through.

Sheldon Richardson, an unrestricted free agent after this year, is coming off a broken leg and had just 1.5 sacks before that. Muhammad Wilkerson, who got a big contract extension last year, also played poorly. Both players were benched for a quarter in a game last year for being late to a meeting. Richardson and Wilkerson are expected to play better, which is a must if their D-line is to excel.

Quincy Enunwa as No. 1 Receiver

quincy-enunwa-jetsBrandon Marshall had a disappointing year after catching 59 passes for 788 yards and 3 touchdowns. Decker totaled just 9 catches for 194 before a season-ending injury. Both are gone, which leaves Quincy Enunwa as the unquestioned No. 1 wide receiver right now. He had 58 catches for 857 yards last season, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can top 1,000 as the go-to option.

Bilal Powell as the Feature Back

Bilal Powell has spent most of his career as a third-down back. However, last year he got a chance in an every-down role, and he did decent. Powell rushed for 722 yards and 3 touchdowns, while catching 56 balls for another 388 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was most impressive in the last four weeks of the season, rushing for 103 yards per game while averaging 4.8 YPC.

Will Todd Bowles be Fired?

todd-bowles-jets-firedTodd Bowles was a very good defensive coordinator with the Arizona Cardinals, and he had a great first season with the Jets in 2015. But coming off a 4-12 season, it’s easy to see Bowles taking the fall if New York is as bad as we expect. He’ll have to show that he’s excellent at player development this season to stay on because the Jets are unlikely to be any good. The other scenario is that Bowles wins far more than anybody expects – although this seems contradictory to what New York’s management has set him up to do.

Expectations for New York Jets’ 2017-18 Season

The best case scenario for New York is that they finish 1-15, secure the league’s worst record, and draft USC’s Sam Darnold (or whoever the top QB prospect is). Worst case scenario is that they go 6-10 and miss out on a potential franchise-changing quarterback.

This team isn’t set up to win and management knows it. They want the top pick in next April’s draft, and they want to develop young players this season. Chances are that the Jets will be worse than the Browns, 49ers, and any other contenders for the bottom. An Oct. 8 date with Cleveland could decide the top pick in 2018.

An unfortunate side product of this tanking is that Bowles is 80-90% assured of losing his job. But if the Jets are going to blow this thing up and start over, they’d better do it right with a terrible season.

Jets Week 1 Betting Line at GTBets.eu

NY Jets +6 (-105)
Buffalo Bills -6 (+115)

Browns Futures: DeShone Kizer Week 1 Starter?

deshone-kizer-browns-starterThe Cleveland Browns waited to pull the trigger on a QB this spring, drafting DeShone Kizer with the 52nd pick. And if Browns’ OTAs are any indication, it might turn out to be a gem of a move.

Few know what to expect from the Notre Dame product at the NFL level. Kizer has offered lofty self-comparisons to Cam Newton and Tom Brady, while vowing that he won’t “sit around and watch from the sidelines.”

Head coach Hue Jackson quieted some of this talk from the rookie. But it’s clear that Kizer is looking good out on the practice field.

“He [Jackson] laid it right to me, and he said ‘look, this is not about you playing right away, this is not about a timetable on when you’re going to play,” Kizer said after signing a four-year rookie contract worth about $4.9 million. “It’s about you just learning as much as you possibly can and becoming a better quarterback and that’s been my mindset since the day he said that. I’m going to continue to believe that until they tell me otherwise.”

It’s clear that with the way the Browns’ quarterback situation is, Kizer will have a chance to do more than just learn in his first year. But for now, he’s just listening to Jackson and picking up the playbook.

“There’s so much I have to learn,” he told Cleveland.com. “I’m still in the same position I was last time we talked and that’s just trying to put myself in the position to compete one day. I don’t know if that day is now. It’s all about learning as much as you can and becoming as comfortable as you can so I can compete one day for that starting job.”

First QB in the Rotation

Kizer has done a very good job of picking things up during the OTAs. In fact, Jackson put him in as the first quarterback on the second day of minicamp. This marked the first time that anybody besides Cody Kessler has been put in this situation.

deshone-kizer-hue-jackson“It’s awesome,” Kizer said regarding being in with the first team. “When you’re out there with the guys who have done if for a while, some veterans who have completely seen everything, it not only helps me with my confidence, but also it puts me in the best position when I’m wrong to get it right.”

Jackson has yet to offer DeShone anything on why he’s suddenly playing with the starters. He also downplayed the matter to the media, saying that he’s trying different combinations. But whatever the case may be, Kizer is taking full advantage of the opportunity.

“It’s been, once again, an opportunity just to learn as much as I can,” he explained. “We all have the same mindset in the sense of it’s a learning game for me and trying to put myself in a position to compete one day. I think coach believes that it’s the best for me to get out there and learn from the guys who have been doing it for a while.”

Kizer added, “To sit here and say that a month’s worth of learning that offense and being out here is enough to be a starter would be really naive of me. There’s so much more I have to learn. I haven’t gameplanned for a team yet. We haven’t gone in and sat down and put in the hours to prepare for Pittsburgh yet. So to say that I’m in a position to go start against that team, I’d be completely wrong.”

Rookie Mistakes

Despite the progress he’s shown, Kizer isn’t immune the rookie gaffes that all first-year players struggle with. On Tuesday, he thew a short flat pass to rookie David Njoku, only to watch linebacker Jamie Collins jump the route and return it for a pick-six.

“The challenging plays are the more valuable of the two,” Kizer said. “The biggest learning experiences for me are the situations in which a guy who’s a Pro Bowler — who’s won a Super Bowl — plays me like a fiddle and comes off the edge and picks one off.

“Now I get to see what that looks like on film and be able to take those mental reps from that and learn from it. I’ll continue to learn from this great defense throughout all of training camp.”

Studious Player

deshone-kizer-cleveland-browns-week-1Once OTAs end, Kizer will perform workouts with QB expert Tom House in Los Angeles.

He’ll also be studying Cleveland’s playbook during the break as well.

“I was just talking to my parents about it,” Kizer explained. “I like to consider this like a calculus class. You miss one day of a calculus class, you’re set back for the whole semester. So I’ve been in that playbook as much as I possibly can and truly trying to figure out what my process is to learn this as fast as I can so that when it does come time to game plan I understand the offense before he starts throwing different things at me.”

Despite all of the work he’s putting in, Kizer knows that there’s a strong chance he’ll be watching from the sidelines – at least in the beginning. But he also plans to continue working for when his chance does arise.

“It’s obvious that the more time you spend on something the better you’re going to get at it,” he said. “Right now, my mindset is all just about learning and when coach says ‘hey look, here’s the situation’ then I can go out there and change my mindset.”

We won’t have a full idea on where Kizer stands on the depth chart until the preseason begins in August. But right now, it looks like he at least has a shot to compete with Kessler and others for the starting role.

2017-18 Cleveland Browns Futures & Betting

There’s no telling how DeShone Kizer will truly impact the Browns’ upcoming season at this point. But it appears that Kizer could possibly improve a position that was sorely lacking for the Browns last season. So keep this in mind if you make any early bets on Cleveland.

Check GTBets.eu for both Cleveland’s Week 1 line and futures (when available). At this time, the Browns open as a +8 underdog at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Chicago Bears Futures: QB Situation Headlines 2017-18 Season

mike-glennon-bearsThe Chicago Bears made some offseason decisions that had fans scratching their heads. First, the Bears signed Mike Glennon – who’s only appeared in 21 games in three seasons – to a 3-year, $45 million deal.

It seemed strange that a team which talked so much about wanting a top-tier quarterback would give starter-like money to a backup.

But then Chicago made another curious move…trading their third and fourth-round picks in this year’s draft, and a 2018 third-rounder, for the right to move up one pick to No. 2. Here, they selected North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky second overall.

Some were shocked that Chicago gave up so much to move up 1 spot, while San Francisco slid down one peg to No. 3. But as CSN Chicago points out, the Bears actually fared better in this deal when considering the numbers.

So there we have it: Mike Glennon is a temporary solution while Trubisky is being groomed. At worst, Glennon will receive $18.5 million to start the 2017-18 season, with the Bears possibly cutting ties if Trubisky is ready for the 2018-19 campaign.

Will Glennon be an Upgrade from Jay Cutler?

2018-bears-futuresOne of the biggest free agent departures for Chicago is former QB Jay Cutler, who’s still looking for a team after spending 8 seasons with the Bears. Both sides were ready to part after Cutler had an abysmal season, where he threw for 4 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and completed 59.1% of his passes in just five games.

One could argue that Cutler could’ve played much better without the injuries and some more offensive talent. After all, he’s thrown for 208 TDs, 146 INTs, and completed 61.1% of his passes in 11 seasons. But then again, there are no guarantees that he’d be better either.

This brings us to Glennon, who played decent whenever given a shot in Tampa Bay. For his career, Glennon has 4,100 passing yards, 30 TD passes, 15 INT’s, and a 59.4% completion rate. The completion percentage could obviously be better, but nobody’s complaining about the 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio.

This is the former NC State product’s first chance to be a full-time starter in the NFL. How will Glennon fare?

At worst, expect Glennon to be on par with what Cutler did in his limited stints. At best, Glennon keeps his 2:1 TD/INT ratio intact and helps Chicago get near .500. Either way, the result is probably a one-year rental at starting QB market value.

When will Trubisky be Uncorked?

mitch-trubisky-2018-chicagoTrubisky has made headlines for driving his grandmother’s 1997 Toyota to practice. But the Bears are expecting him to eventually be their Rolls Royce at the QB position. For now, though, the 22-year-old knows that his place is a student first.

“Mike is the starting quarterback and I’m very excited to learn from him and the rest of the veterans on the team,” he said. “And I can’t wait to help the Bears win.”

Considering that Glennon has three years of experience on the rookie, he’ll be a good guy to learn from. But Glennon can’t provide first-hand experience to Trubisky. Instead, this is something that only comes with first team reps and experience in game situations.

Odds are that the UNC man finds his way onto the field at some point – if only in limited capacity. Of course, this will all be up to head coach John Fox, and, in a lesser sense, general manager Ryan Pace.

“That’s going to be something that this organization is embracing,” said Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. “Obviously the two bosses (Pace and Fox) communicate very well with each other, and obviously I’m a part of that.

“Everyone that touches the schedule is a part of that. So we’ve got to be really good at assessing where each guy’s at, and I think that’s the biggest key for us: knowing exactly where each guy is at and figuring out and being flexible with reps.”

Questions Regarding Chicago’s Other Positions

Quarterback isn’t the only position that the Bears need to worry about. Here are some other questions as we head towards the 2017 preseason:

  • Can receiver Kevin White be the man with Pro-Bowler Alshon Jeffrey leaving?
  • Will free-agent receiver additions Kendall Wright and Dion Sims help out?
  • Will the defense generate more than its NFL-low 11 turnovers last season?

2017 Chicago Bears Offseason Notes

2016 record: 3-13, 4th in NFC North

Key Additions: QB Mike Glennon, QB Mitchell Trubisky (draft), CB Prince Amukamara, S Quintin Demps, TE Dion Sims (FA), WR Markus Wheaton, WR Kendall Wright

Significant Losses: DB Tracy Porter, WR Eddie Royal, WR Alshon Jeffery, QB Jay Cutler, QB Brian Hoyer, DL Cornelius Washington

GTBets Chicago Bears Week 1 Line: Chicago +6.5 (-110), Atlanta -6.5 (-110)