February meeting helped convince Bears on Jay Cutler

The Chicago Bears are all in on Jay Cutler. They have no other choice.

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.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that after the meeting the Bears left convinced Cutler was their starter. The team didn't talk about redoing the quarterback's contract, per Rapoport.

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.

Fox also said Cutler has had success, "albeit not super-recent," per the Chicago Sun-Times.

Well if that doesn't get Bears fans fired up, what will?

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.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps the inaugural Veteran Combine and discusses which star players were helped (and hurt) by free agency. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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