NFL Notebook: Bears looking to trade Cutler, retirement on table too

Patrick Gorski—USA TODAY Sports
Dec 24

Cutler’s future in questionBears quarterback Jay Cutler will almost certainly not be in Chicago come the 2017 season. The only question is how Cutler departs. Everything, apparently, is on the table.The Bears prefer being able to find a trade partner. Cutler, 33, has a $17 million cap number and four years remaining on a deal he signed during Phil Emery’s tenure as general manager. But he would only count as $2 million in dead money for 2017, making cutting him very much an option.Current coach John Fox and GM Ryan Pace afforded Cutler the chance to nail down the job in 2015 and 2016, but the Bears missed the playoffs each year. With no guaranteed money remaining in the deal, Cutler’s approval could be part of trade talks. The Jets, 49ers, Texans and Broncos — Cutler’s original team — are considered to be teams probable to chase a veteran quarterback. The teams with familiarity — Cutler knows Kyle Shanahan’s system after being drafted by his father, Cutler knows Jets QB coach Jeremy Bates as well as star wideout Brandon Marshall — are likely to spend the year in the basement regardless of who plays quarterback.As such, there is also a report from that Cutler could consider retirement. Essentially the quarterback sees the landscape, doesn’t love his options and could walk away. That might also be an early overture for bad teams chasing his services.No surgery for BellPittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, who was forced out of the AFC Championship Game because of a groin injury, is not expected to need offseason surgery.Bell appears to have avoided an operation, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported Wednesday.Bell made the rounds with the media during Super Bowl week, telling reporters he was still in the process of determining whether he would need surgery for the groin injury. He has not scheduled surgery, which would have happened by now if necessary, according to Rapoport.Tannehill passes test on kneeMiami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill passed a battery of tests on his ACL and Grade 2 MCL sprain and is expected to be available for all of the team’s offseason program, the Miami Herald reported on Thursday. Tannehill missed the Dolphins’ last three regular-season games and their playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers with a severe knee sprain. The 28-year-old elected against full reconstructive surgery and instead opted for rehabilitation with adult stem cell treatment, the Miami Herald reported.Tannehill is expected for a full workload by the start of training camp in July and likely will wear a knee brace throughout the season. The eighth overall pick of the 2012 draft, Tannehill suffered a sprained ACL and MCL in his left knee in the Dec. 11 game against the Arizona Cardinals. Tannehill completed 67.1 percent of his passes, throwing for 2,995 yards, 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions with a 93.5 passer rating in 13 games.Browns DT set to ‘kill it’ after surgeryCleveland Browns defensive tackle Danny Shelton was sporting a cast on his left arm, leading many on social media to wonder about his injury. Shelton took to Twitter and revealed he had he is ready for a big season after undergoing minor wrist surgery.”I’m all good. Just had my wrist cleaned up so I can kill it this season,” the 23-year-old Shelton posted on Twitter.Shelton recorded 1.5 sacks and 59 tackles in his second season with the club. A first-round pick of the 2015 draft, Shelton has collected 95 tackles in his career with Cleveland.Ex-NFLPA director Garvey dead at 76Ed Garvey, who was the NFL Players Association’s first executive director, died Wednesday. He was 76.Garvey died at a nursing home in Verona, Wis., after a battle with Parkinson’s disease, the Capital Times reported.Garvey, who graduated from Wisconsin Law School in 1969, was the players’ union counsel and executive director from 1971 to 1983. He was a labor lawyer for a Minneapolis firm representing the NFLPA, working alongside union president John Mackey.Garvey led the players through two strikes in 1974 and 1982. The 1982 walkout resulted in the season being shortened from 16 to nine games.