To say this past Chicago Bears’ season has been bad in an understatement. They currently sit at 5-10 with no sense of direction whatsoever, from the front office, to the coaching staff, and to the players on the field.
A lot of people are to blame for the debacle in Chi-town, and a lot of rumors have been swirling around as to who will be fired and who will be staying next year. To me, it’s as simple as this: everyone must go.
Fire general manager Phil Emery for signing Jay Cutler to that ridiculous 7 year, $126.7 million contract. Fire head coach Marc Trestman for completely losing the locker room this season. Fire defensive coordinator Mel Tucker for having the worst defense the past two years. Fire offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer for the offense regressing from last season. Cut or trade Jay Cutler for being the highest paid 8-8 quarterback of all time. If you can trade him, that’s great. If not, take the cap hit and cut him. It’ll put the Bears in a financial bind, but it’ll help out the long-term success of the team.
Players like Lance Briggs and Charles Tilman also need to be cut. These guys have been great Bears in their lifetime and were anchors on that 2006 defense, but at ages 34 and 33, respectively, it’s time to cut ties with both. Plus the injury bug has hit both of them, too, making them more expendable.
The only players that are worth saving at this point are Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Kyle Long, and Kyle Fuller. Those five haven’t been the problems the past two seasons and have show some sort of promise for the future. Everyone else, though, is expendable.
Simply put, the Bears need to clean house this offseason. Everyone needs to be held accountable for the disaster that this season has been, and changes have to be made in order to make any progress next year.
Now do I think everyone will be let go? Probably not. The most likely people gone will be both coordinators. There’s no excuse for either Tucker or Kromer this year, as both the offense and defense has taken a step back from last year. The defense is still dead last in the league and the offense has gone from 8th to 19th in the league. If either of them have a job by next week I will be stunned.
The next one to go should be Emery. I know he’s done well in the draft with taking Long and Fuller in back-to-back years, but the contract given to Cutler outweighs both of those good moves. And, more importantly, in the three years he’s been a GM, the team has regressed. They’ve gone from 10-6, to 8-8, to now 5-10 with one last game to be played. The personnel decisions made by Emery have just not worked, and it’s time the Bears go in another direction.
Then there’s Marc Trestman. I’m one of the few people that still believe that Trestman is a good coach, but he may be a victim of the situation he’s in. He’s lost control of the quarterback situation, from benching Cutler to now starting him for the final game against Minnesota. It seems like the team has played uninspired all year as well. Outside of the Detroit game this past Sunday, this team has shown no emotion or drive to win, which falls on the coach for not getting his players ready to play. It’s only the second year with Trestman, but he might be looking for a job at the end of the year.
Finally, there’s the Cutler situation. With so much money tied up into him, it almost seems impossible to cut him. The only way that Cutler isn’t a Bear next year is if he’s traded. That contract is a lot to take on, though, and I’m not sure anyone will be willing to eat up that contract. If the Bears trade him, they’ll have to pay for probably at least half of the guaranteed money, which would put them in the hole financially just as much as cutting him.
If you do indeed clean house, where do you go from there? Jim Harbaugh seems like a great option for a head coach. He went to three straight NFC championship games before the wheels came off this past year. The University of Michigan wants Harbaugh as well, so the chances on getting Harbaugh as the coach look slim.
Who do you bring in as the GM? The popular choice is Bill Polian, who used to be the GM in Indianapolis before becoming an analyst on ESPN. Nobody knows if he wants to come back, though, so the chances of getting him are also slim.
The dream scenario for the Bears in regards to Cutler would to be able to trade him to Tennessee and somehow get the Titans draft pick in return. The Titans right now would have the second pick, which could put the Bears in position to draft either Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston. If they can’t trade Cutler and cut him, then the Bears would have the seventh pick and should go after a defensive player. Landon Collins, a safety from Alabama, would be an ideal choice, but if defensive lineman Shane Ray fell to them at seven, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Bears take the Missouri Tiger.
Cleaning house may be a difficult process and would require a lot of patience out of Bears fans. It would probably take two or three years to get back to being contenders in the NFC North, but if the fans can just be patient and let the moves play themselves out, the Bears could be back to where they belong: atop the NFC North.
Thanks for reading. Make sure to check out the other blogs I’ve posted, and stay tuned as I go more in-depth on all the things going on in the sports world. This is Game of Sports.