It's been a rough week or for NFL quarterbacks with lots at stake on the contract front:
Freeman can only hope for a trade or release. Bradford is signed through 2015 and the Rams seem committed to him in part due to the money they've paid him based on the rules of the previous CBA. Cutler, without a contract for 2014, is the veteran quarterback to watch over the remaining 12 games of this regular season. He trailed only Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers in Total QBR through the Bears' 3-0 start to the season. But then came Cutler's three-INT, one-lost-fumble meltdown Sunday during a 40-32 road defeat to the Detroit Lions -- a reminder, perhaps, that fresh coaching and an improved offensive line have their limits.
So what will Cutler be worth? And should the Bears be willing to beat any offer to keep him? With help from coaches, a pro personnel director and a veteran NFL contract negotiator, I set out this week to more clearly define where Cutler is headed, not just on the field but also as the Bears' franchise quarterback.