In the days leading up to the deadline for $10 million of the quarterback's 2016 money becoming guaranteed, the Bears' brass met with Cutler sans the player's agent.
The meeting came after lukewarm comments about Cutler from coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace at the NFL Scouting Combine.
During Wednesday's media session at the NFL Annual Meeting, Fox tried to talk up Cutler.
"If you're looking at a depth chart before we can get anything going, I'd say he'd be first on the depth chart," Fox said, per Newsday.
This isn't a new theory about Cutler. He possesses tools -- including a big arm -- that scouts love. It's why he keeps getting chances despite his wayward on-field performances.
Let's not fall into the offseason trap of writing gushing pieces about how it's finally the year that Cutler turns it around or how this is finally the coaching staff that will get through to the quarterback.
The Bears brass might have left that meeting convinced he was their starter, but they also had zero alternatives and an unmovable contract that shades the situation.
Until Cutler proves it on the field, we'll choose to believe that Fox and his team are making the best of a situation they'd rather not be in.