Let the rumor mill start swirling for the Tennessee Titans as their playoff hopes are now all but crushed with a current record of 5-8. With the long-term durability of Jake Locker being a serious concern moving forward, the Titans have to make a decision on what to do next at quarterback.
The Titans have been lost at quarterback ever since the late Steve McNair, who ran out of town. It's been a bad omen ever since.
In comes soon-to-be free agent Jay Cutler, who is currently in a quarterback mix-up of his own with the Chicago Bears. There have been reports from Kevin Patra of NFL.com that Cutler could be targeted by the Titans heading into the offseason.
In that same report from NFL.com, it was also speculated from Ian Rapoport and Michael Silver of NFL Network that the Titans are unlikely to keep Locker into 2015.
Locker would be owed $13 million in 2015, and he hasn't done anything close to being worth that much money. It would be too much of a risk for the Titans to pay that much money to a guy that clearly can't stay healthy and only had flashes of solid quarterback play.
However, Locker may get one more audition in 2014 to prove he still is the franchise quarterback for the Titans, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.
I believe the #Titanshttps://twitter.com/search?q=%23Titans&src=hash">#Titans> will give Jake Locker every chance to prove himself in '14- as the starter. How he does will determine long-term fate— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) December'>https://twitter.com/jwyattsports/statuses/410209847498383360">December 10, 2013
So what does this all mean for the Titans heading into next season?
Cutler has ties to Nashville since he played his college football at Vanderbilt. He also still has a home in the Nashville area. He would definitely create some national buzz for a Titans team that rarely gets any. The question at hand is, could he make the Titans a playoff team?
Signing a veteran free-agent quarterback like Cutler is a faster solution to the problem for the Titans than drafting another quarterback, which would almost certainly send the Titans into a rebuilding mode.
Do the Titans really want to take another stab at drafting a quarterback considering how unsuccessful they've been at drafting quarterbacks in the past.
Cutler has always been knocked for his arrogance, but there is no denying his talent. He would instantly make the Titans a more viable offense. There is also already enough young talent at wide receiver for Cutler to walk into and make even better.
Both Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter are likely future stars. They just need a reliable quarterback to get them the ball, and Cutler could be that guy.
Like him or not, Cutler has put up the career numbers to deserve to be looked at by the Titans to solve their quarterback woes. Over 23,000 careers passing yards and 149 career passing touchdowns is something the Titans should go after compared to their current situation at quarterback.
Obviously, it's still very early in the game to really know if this is anything more than a rumor. The current circumstances do seem to indicate that it's a possibility.
The whole possibility of this blockbuster deal rides on what the Bears want for their own future at quarterback. Josh McCown has unexpectedly come in and played great in place of the injured Cutler, and that could make it easier for the Bears to move on from him.
If Cutler were to join the Titans, it would be so much easier for the Titans to wipe their hands clean of what is seeming to be a bad draft pick with Locker.
The Titans passed up on drafting Cutler back in 2006 for a troubled Vince Young, but now they may be getting a second chance to right a wrong.