When a head coach loses faith in his starting quarterback, or that quarterback loses faith in the coach, it’s pretty hard to find any type of success in the NFL. For the Chicago Bears, there’s obviously some huge wall up between John Fox and Jay Cutler, and it doesn’t seem likely to come down anytime soon. In turn, it’s led to Fox reportedly saying that he’s “done” with Cutler after the 2016 season, according to the Chicago Tribune.
While Cutler leaving the Bears isn’t something surprising, as he has no guaranteed money left on his deal after this season, it’s a move that could be beneficial to both sides. In the end, it may not be the greatest thing for Fox, though, who’s future in Chicago also may be very much in doubt.
There are a few different ways to see this whole situation playing out, and one is good for Fox, one is bad for Fox and both are good for the Bears as a team. No matter which way you look at it, a new face at quarterback in the Windy City would be welcomed. Even the minimal success that Brian Hoyer was able to have was almost relieving to watch on the field. So, the Bears get a new quarterback, likely through a very high draft pick (they’re 1-6), or they trade/find someone in free agency.
The latter seems unlikely so the assumption is that they’ll get a rookie. If the Bears back Fox and what he’s doing with the team, then he should be able to groom the rookie in this offense and hopefully find success. Unfortunately, that success probably won’t come in 2017, which will mean Fox has just one year left on his four-year deal, assuming he can survive another bad season.
As for that alternate route? Well, that one doesn’t bode very well for Fox either. If the Bears fall below .500, it’ll be the fourth season in a row that they do so, and their second under Fox. If general manager Ryan Pace is interested in completely reviving the Bears from the ground up, then starting with a new quarterback/head coach duo could very well be the best way to do so.
So, Fox wants Cutler gone, but what if the Bears want Fox gone? Maybe they choose to bring in a new head coach from the college level or a proven assistant from elsewhere in the league. Whatever the case may be, that situation seems pretty solid given that there may be an entirely new system that everyone has to learn just a year or two later if Fox can’t find success. Money may be the only motivation not to make the change currently, but even that still may not be enough to save Fox’s job.
The 2017 offseason should be an interesting one for the Bears and their fans, but don’t be surprised for plenty of big changes to happen, and for this franchise to look a whole lot different in less than a year’s time.