Jimmy Clausen’s Week 16 performance raises new questions for the Chicago Bears
Jimmy Clausen had a solid day in relief of Jay Cutler. And now we have even more questions about what Chicago may or may not do with their starting quarterback and head coach once the season ends.
Jay Cutler may not get another chance with the Chicago Bears after all, not this season. Jimmy Clausen threw a pair of touchdowns nearly powered the Bears past the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon. Whatever reason Marc Trestman had for benching Cutler — and there were all kinds of whispers about it being an effort to prove to his bosses that Cutler was the problem — it came off looking like a smart move this week, leaving the Bears future cloudier than it already was.
The former Notre Dame signal caller finished the day 23-of-39 with 181 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, something that really set him apart from Cutler’s NFL worst 18 picks. His lone interception came on a fourth-and-10 Hail Mary at the end of the game, trailing by six points. His receivers dropped seven passes, which only made things worse for him and the Bears.
Trestman originally said that Clausen was only guaranteed a start this week, promising to revisit the situation after this game. It’s safe to assume that the Bears may want to stick with Clausen when their season wraps up next week against the Vikings.
Clausen’s stock as a quarterback has been sliding since the 2010 NFL Draft, but he’s been able to stick around as a backup since then. He should get another shot as a No. 2 in a quarterback-starved league next season, perhaps in Chicago where the Bears may need quarterback help if the Jay Cutler trade talk comes to fruition.
Trading Cutler won’t be easy for the Bears, given his salary. A report Sunday morning had the Tennessee Titans as one potential destination. A report Saturday said trading Cutler may require the Bears to throw in a draft pick of their own.
Trestman reportedly has a week left in Chicago, or at least he did Sunday morning. But Clausen’s effort would seem to reemphasize the notion that Cutler really is the problem (for the Bears offense anyway), especially when you consider what the Bears were able to do with Josh McCown last season. The smart money is on Trestman still getting the boot, but he could be in demand as an offensive coordinator real soon.