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Quarterback and chainsmoking wonder Jay Cutler has been released by the Chicago Bears after eight seasons. Cutty’s time in Chicago saw him break multiple Bears passing records, earn an NFC Championship appearance, and give a grand total of zero shits. In typical Cutler fashion, the release was a mutual affair full of love and affection.
By which I mean he said “get me the hell out of here” and dipped. Classic.
Still, Cutler’s exit means he’s facing a tough decision. He’s 33 and not getting any younger. He was also one of the NFL’s biggest jokes between the monster contract that brought him to Chicago and his occasionally rampant streaks of throwing the ball to the other team. Before (current Cleveland Brown) Brock Osweiler dove face first into Houston’s bank account, Jay was the laughing stock of the league. That’s why nobody would blame him for stepping away from a game that’s not kind to people who overstay their welcome. Even with job openings seemingly everywhere, a lot of people are expecting Cutty to ride off into the sunset, double birds blazing.
But you can’t do that, Jay. The league needs you, and you need the league.
How else are you going to avoid the constant threat of being bludgeoned to death in your sleep by a therapeutic chunk of rose quartz? Can you honestly tell me you’re looking forward to kale salads for dinner instead of a steak in Kansas City or In-N-Out in LA? Be real with me one time, Jay. Those trips to Kristin’s yoga studio can never compare to the thrill of a downfield pass. You’re even safer out there, since a linebacker to the dome is a hell of a lot more civilized than succumbing to polio from your in-ground pool. You need the NFL just to escape the house my man, and it needs you to set an example. Even if you’re the grizzled old guy with a clipboard, you’ll be doing the Lord’s work.
Ever since Kyle Orton retired, the NFL has had a glaring lack of legitimate degenerates in its ranks. Don’t get me wrong — seeing Gronk pound airplane bottles and casually work 69 jokes into casual conversation is great, but Cutler is a true renegade. There’s the classic account of him telling a guy at a urinal that he just didn’t care to speak with him, and the time he almost abandoned his kids before being mercilessly cyberbullied by the wife he proposed to via text message. That’s a whole different echelon than harmless comments and financially responsible decisions. If Gronk is America’s Golden Retriever puppy, Cutler is its old mutt that makes eye contact as he pees on your floor. You want to yell at him, but he occasionally does something that makes it worth keeping him around. That’s worth a ton of ear scratches and the respect of millions.
I don’t want to wake up to a league without Jay Cutler. I need an athlete who gets soaked in booze and then hits the field guns blazing. While James Harrison hits the gym for another set of shoulder shrugs and Tom Brady sends out another stupid, wholesome video of his kids, I need to know that there are athletes who play it as fast and loose as Denzel in Flight. Think of the children, Jay, but not your children — those kids are going to be the death of you..