(CBS) The end of Jay Cutler’s tenure in Chicago could be near, as the Bears have “actively” started seeking a trade partner, ESPN reported.
With Cutler paid in full the $54 million guaranteed of a seven-year, $126.7 million deal signed in 2014, he could be released. However, the Bears are first looking to trade their starting quarterback of eight seasons.
Cutler was informed of this possibility in January, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Cutler has a record of 51-51 in eight seasons with the Bears. He has thrown for 154 touchdowns and 109 interceptions in 102 games started.
Bears general manager Ryan Pace spoke openly in January about the decision he faces at the quarterback position.
“Trust me, I understand the magnitude of that decision going forward,” Pace said. “That’s a critical, critical decision for me and this whole building.
“Everything’s on the table right now. Really, that’s what it is. It’s free agency. It’s trades. It’s the draft. It’s current players on our team. Everything’s on the table.”
The Bears have also been linked to the possibility of trading for Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who could be made available this offseason.
Trades cannot be made official until the start of the league new year on March 9. Pace is slated to speak next week at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.