Six years have passed since Cutler joined the Bears in 2009. In all that time, there were two things you could always count on during the summer: 1) a really bad Adam Sandler movie and 2) blind optimism that Chicago's underachiever of a quarterback would finally break through.
Sandler, bless his heart, continues to leave flaming bags of turds in our nation's multiplexes. But positive Cutler thinkpieces? Supporters arguing he's still the guy to get the Bears back to the Super Bowl? That stuff is suddenly scarce.
On Thursday, Brandon Marshall offered an interesting take on what could be called The Cutler Problem in Chicago.
"I feel like I was the only one in the organization that had the huevos to hold him accountable," Marshall told ESPN's First Take.
Huevos! Marshall wasn't done.
"You've got to play for more than the money, you've got to play for more than yourself," he added. "That's the way this works. Some of us get it and some of us don't. And last year, I just felt like we had all the pieces and I just felt like there were a few things that were missing."
One thing's for sure: You won't read any buzzy predictions announcing Cutler as the league's MVP in 2015. Most educated football people will probably predict Cutler ends his season on the bench.
If Cutler is the type of athlete who finds power in the chip on the shoulder, this can all serve as grand motivation for a career resurgence. But it's hard to say if Cutler can be motivated by public opinion, or the criticisms of a prominent former teammate, or really anything at all.
Can Jay Cutler rise again? Will he regain that lost benefit of the doubt? Does any of it matter to him? The man remains a curiosity.
Here's what else we learned at training camps on Thursday:
- Speaking of curiosities, how is Peyton Manning throwing the ball? According to Demaryius Thomas, Manning seems to have "more zip" than he did before he was hurt last season. If true, the Broncos are in great position for another deep January run.
- So far, so good for Sam Bradford. The real test, of course, is live game action. Bradford tore his ACL last summer in his first extended preseason work.
- Trent Richardson might suddenly be on the outside-looking-in for a Raiders roster spot. If that's the case, it's a good thing he's back on the field.
- The Redskins will be without DeSean Jackson after he ran into a blocking sled in practice. Related: The Redskins should probably find a new place for their blocking sleds.
- If Cutler has a comeback season in him, he'll probably need rookie Kevin White to make an immediate impact. White's mysterious shin injury is making that challenge greater.
- The Browns hope this is the season that Barkevious Mingo justifies his first-round selection. Knee surgery to clear out a meniscus tear is not a good start.
The latest Around The NFL Podcast features Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo sharing his thoughts on the upcoming season.