ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Cutler asked for his release, which was granted to him Thursday morning. The move was likely inevitable anyway, as Chicago is reportedly on the verge of signing Mike Glennon, who spent the past four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cutler had four years and $72 million remaining on his deal, including $15 million owed in 2017.
The Bears confirmed Cutler’s release Thursday afternoon.
“Jay was always one of the biggest competitors on our roster,” Bears coach John Fox said in a news release. “He battled every day to get better, both himself and his teammates. He was a team guy who would offer anything he could to help the Bears. Wherever his career may take him next, I wish him nothing but success.”
Both Schefter and CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora believe that the Jets could be major players for Cutler’s services.
La Canfora wrote in a column last month that Jets executives believe Cutler “can play in the elements that are a reality in the AFC East, and they like his moxie and arm talent.”
In New York, Cutler would be reunited with quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates, just hired last month. Bates worked with Cutler while coaching on the staffs of the Broncos and Bears.
Cutler, who tore the labrum in his right shoulder, played in just five games last season for Chicago, completing 59.1 percent of his passes for 1,059 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions.
Throughout his career, Cutler has been widely regarded as a quarterback who has all the physical tools but who lacks ideal leadership skills and has been prone to poor decision making — he’s twice led the NFL in interceptions. Cutler has only been selected to one Pro Bowl in his career — and that came in 2008, when Bates was his QB coach in Denver.