Charles Barkley Feels Bad for Jay Cutler

Ryan Glasspiegel

Jay Cutler has been benched for Jimmy Clausen for this Sunday’s game against Detroit. The move would seem to be symbolic more than anything — the Bears have had little fight in them for months now, there are eight or nine holes on defense, Brandon Marshall is still out, and it’s hard to envision Clausen as any sort of long-term solution. Nevertheless, my Chicago friends were all quite excited with the news yesterday.

Chicago Tribune reporter Luis Gomez caught up with Charles Barkley, who is in town to announce tonight’s Bulls game, and previously defended Cutler when he left the 2011 NFC Championship game with a knee injury and when he came under fire for shoving offensive lineman J’Marcus Webb.

“It’s unfortunate, man,” Barkley said. “When you’re a celebrity and things are going bad, normal people have no sympathy for you. It’s interesting, I was reading Beyonce’s article … she said once you’re famous, people don’t look at you as a person anymore. Jay Cutler is a person. He has a wife and kids. […] Nobody wants to hear about how bad you suck every day on television. As a guy who’s been through some stuff, it sucks when everybody is talking bad about you on television all the time.”

While you can never say never, it would be awfully difficult for the Bears to do anything other than bring Cutler back next year. He’s owed at least $15.5 million next season, and after the way he’s been playing there cannot be many teams who would be willing to bring him in at that figure, independently of also parting with draft picks. To the suggestion that perhaps the Bears could send picks with Cutler as an enticement for another franchise in order to rid themselves of him, this is a team that needs all the parts it can assemble.

The Bears might just need to take their medicine, resign themselves to rebuilding, and be bad at least next season too. That being said, funny things can happen from year-to-year in the NFL, and it’s not just Cutler who’s been ineffective and listless. Coordinators are springing leaks, and getting caught in the act. As likable as he may be, that starts with Marc Trestman. Perhaps a new coaching staff could revive the Bears sooner than anyone realizes.

Related: Chicago Bears Bench Jay Cutler For Jimmy Clausen
Related: Jay Cutler Had a Press Conference and the Local Chicago Media Didn’t Even Show Up
Related: Bears OC Aaron Kromer Admits to Being a Source for Ian Rapoport’s Report Ripping Jay Cutler