During Cutler’s 11-year NFL career with the Bears and Broncos, experts raved about Cutler’s rocket arm and athletic skills. But they questioned his leadership ability, attitude and commitment to winning. It was the same rap applied against another NFL QB with all the talent in the world: Jeff George.
Fair or not, the lasting image from Cutler’s playing career will be him leaving the 2010 NFC championship game with a knee “injury” that may or may not have been serious enough to keep him on the sidelines. A slew of NFL players publicly questioned whether Cutler quit on the Bears that day. He has never lived it down.
“His reputation is that of a spoiled, entitled brat who squandered immense physical gifts,” said one TV executive who was surprised by the Cutler hire. “It never seemed like his heart was in it. The picture you have of him in your mind is him frowning on that exercise bike on the sidelines of that NFC championship game, while his teammates were losing to the Packers.”
I protected the team with clauses in Moss’ contract that required him to give Cheap Goalie Jerseys back a portion of his signing bonus if he got suspended for any misbehavior. And that was on top of his potential loss of weekly salary under such a suspension.
Moss quickly rewarded our faith in the form of a 17-touchdown season that earned him Offensive Rookie of the Year. He played a major role on our 15-1 team that made it to the NFC title game.