Originally written on Midway Illustrated  |  Last updated 7/20/13

CHICAGO - AUGUST 21: Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears warms-up before a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders at Soldier Field on August 21, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Raiders defeated the Bears 32-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
So it comes down to this, the direction of the Chicago Bears franchise for the next five years comes down to Jay Cutler's contract year.   If Cutler falters the Bears can completely blow up the roster and go 180-degrees in a different direction and the team will look completely different a year from now.  If he finally lives up to the expectations of a franchise quarterback then the Bears are going to be very busy this next off-season trying to retain players who can support Cutler during a championship window that will be open only because of Cutler's success. That's the expectations and where they exist now, the window on a Chicago Bears championship has been open because of the defense, if the window is to remain it will be on the right arm of number-6.  The defense can no longer be expected to carry this franchise, Brian Urlacher's retirement was the turning point away from that era.  It's now or never for Jay Cutler and if finally achieves what he was supposed to when he came here in 2009, then the Bears can retain players accordingly.  If at the end of the season the young players on defense step up, and Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman still play at Pro Bowl levels then you can keep Peppers and Briggs and resign Tillman for a couple more years.  If Cutler falters then the Bears enter rebuilding mode and find a franchise QB to build around rather than trying to rebuild around a QB who is 30 years-old.  It won't make sense to continue to draft players who need three years to develop because in three years Cutler's talent may be wasted and so would a lot of money.  The Bears can't rebuild the defense entirely by letting Peppers, Briggs and Tillman walk because there is no youth in place behind Tillman and you're not likely to see elite production from either McClellin or Greene or Bostic.  There has to remain a relative level of stability within the organization if you plan on extending Jay Cutler because developing a new defense, developing a new scheme will take time, time Cutler's age does not afford Phil Emery.  So what will we get from Jay Cutler?  The short answer should be, we should get the best season out of Cutler we have ever seen in a Chicago Bears uniform and likely the best season of his career.  No, he likely won't approach 4,500 yards passing, but there should be a level of efficiency in his game we have never seen before.  The head coach is a quarterback driven coach, with an offensive system that is going to get the best out of Jay Cutler.  Cutler will have to be disciplined and when he's been asked to he's put together the best seasons of his career.  Now he'll have a combination of discipline, protection and weapons that should maximize his production.  Everyone including Cutler knows there are no more excuses, no more limitations within this offense.  Now they pyramid has been built and there isn't a brick missing so it's time to reach up into the heavens and pull down a Lombardi trophy before the window to that dimension closes.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sandoval downplays talk about weight, conditioning, defense

Astros acquire Carlos Gomez from Brewers

Richardson charged for resisting arrest after high-speed chase

Yankees finally get Dustin Ackley

Five most overrated teams in the CFB preseason coaches’ poll

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Padres manager pulled players to give media ‘something to think about’

Robert Kraft signs fan’s ‘Free Brady’ poster

Jerry Jones supports Joseph Randle as Cowboys’ starting RB

Dallas Cowboys place Darren McFadden on PUP list

Mark Cuban: Brady suspension should be more severe

Darrelle Revis thinks AFC East will be NFL’s toughest division

Steelers players: Who is Jimmy Garoppolo?

Tigers’ reboot continues, Joakim Soria traded to Pirates

Matthews ‘felt disrespected’ Blazers didn’t try to re-sign him

Cardinals ink billion dollar TV deal from Fox Sports Midwest

Spurs Jesus catches burglar, holds him down for police

Will the San Francisco Giants end up standing pat?

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

Cole Hamels deal: What is the true price of rebuilding?

William ‘Refrigerator’ Perry auctioning off Super Bowl ring

Affairs of the Hart (Trophy)

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Will the Giants end up standing pat?

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Next summer's top 10 NBA free agents

Who is the NL's new top shortstop?

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Mets still act like a small-market team

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker