Criticism of Cutler Unwarranted

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Alex Hall
Journal Staff

It’s the week before the biggest sporting event of the year in America, and normally this is a time spent hyping up the two teams participating in the game. However, in addition to that, the league has been swarming with talk surrounding Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and his disappearing act in the NFC Championship game against Green Bay on Jan. 23.

Some of this scathing criticism has even come from retired and current NFL players. This is something that I personally find shocking, considering that many retired NFL players are constantly being reported as hooked on pain killers or struggling to pay their bills due to the NFL’s poor excuse for a pension.

If Jay Cutler had gone back into that game, he could have easily taken another hit that would have cost him to tear the already strained ligament. (It was reported after the fact that he sprained his MCL.) In the short term, this would have cost him a month of his offseason to surgery and recovery. However, with every injury, a specific period of time a player has in the National Football League is lost. As many reports have shown in recent years, there’s a decent chance that players in this day in age could end up in situations like Hall of Famer Willie Wood.

Wood was at one time one of the most feared safeties in the National Football League. A Green Bay Packer legend, he now finds himself living out his retirement in an assisted living facility after several surgeries. And don’t think that those medical bills were paid for on the NFL’s dime, because they weren’t.

The NFL wants to extend another two games to the schedule next season, but Jay Cutler and his contemporaries can’t afford to suffer through any more injuries. And not all former NFL players can rely on a cushy broadcasting job to pay their medical bills after hanging up the cleats.

It’s nice to see that there were some players out there that decided not to take part in the Jay Cutler bashing. Some actually spoke out against his critics, like fellow NFC quarterbacks Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers, who recently spoke out.

Not only is it wrong for anyone to take a shot at Jay Cutler from a professional standpoint, it was also wrong considering that there are former players like Willie Wood and Joe DeLamilleure who don’t have the most comfortable living situations, especially in a sport that makes more money a year than any typical American could dream of.

Cutler may not have put on his best Brett Favre imitation and trotted out on the field with his obvious injury, but then again, as many times as Favre did that during his career, it was that mentality that eventually lead to his retirement. Cutler could have gone on the field if he somehow convinced the Bears medical staff to let him. He would have been called a “gladiator” for a week and earned some public brownie points, but ultimately he would have risked taking years off his career.

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