The Chicago Bears are going in a different direction for their remaining two games at quarterback. After an up-and-down season (mostly down) to this point, the Bears are making arguably the most surprising change at QB of any team this year.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Cutler is being benched for journeyman Jimmy Clausen vs. the Detroit Lions this week.
Stunner from Chicago: Bears starting QB Jimmy Clausen this week, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 17, 2014
To repeat and now confirmed: Bears starting QB Jimmy Clausen over Jay Cutler on Sunday vs. Detroit, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 17, 2014
Jay Cutler is owed $15.5 million next year, fully guaranteed. So someone is paying that...Nobody can be sure it's Chicago.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 17, 2014
The 31-year-old Cutler leads the NFL with 24 turnovers and has struggled with consistency all season. The highest-paid offensive player in the NFL this season, Cutler has averaged a turnover every 33.3 snaps this season, which ranks as third-worst among all qualified players in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The controversy surrounding Cutler and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer is also still fresh on everyone's mind. After a deflating home loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 14, Kromer told the NFL Network that Cutler has "absolutely killed" the Bears with his poor decision-making on the field.
This offseason, Cutler signed a $126.7 million, seven-year contract that includes $54 million guaranteed. His base salary for 2014 is $22.5 million, meaning the Bears are paying him about $1.4 million per game to sit on bench.