By Damien Barling

“Worst quarterback in the NFL. I’d be open and he’d throw into double coverage.” – Martelles Bennet

“Coaches brought in to help Cutler keep getting fired. Meanwhile, Cutler keeps cashing fat checks.” – ESPN Mike Santos

Let’s talk about perception.

The perception of Jay Cutler is he’s a giant d-bag. He’s a smoking Internet meme carved out of bad language sprinkled with teammates who trashed him the moment he left town.

The perception of Jay Cutler is he never gave a crap whether he won or lost. His toughness became a talking point when he pulled himself from an NFC title game with, what would be learned later was, a sprained MCL. He was widely criticized by fans and players for the decision. He hasn’t played 16 games since 2009.

The perception of Jay Cutler is he has a big arm that can throw a team back into a game. He’s 12-23 in his last 3 seasons. He’s never thrown for 5,000 yards. He’s thrown more then 4,000 once.

The perception of Jay Cutler is he’s been one of the leagues Top 10-15 QB’s since his days in Denver. He’s made one Pro Bowl. In 2008. While still in Denver.

The thing about perception is sometimes your senses can fool you. Sometimes you only see what you want to see, hear what you want to hear, therefore guiding your perception to fit the narrative you prefer.

In this case, the narrative is Jay Cutler is a bad teammate, with a bad attitude, lacks toughness, and is the furtherest from a proven winner. That narrative is slanted by our perception. The perception that everything we read about Jay Cutler is accurate. The perception that because one teammate hated Cutler, they all hated him. The perception that because he took himself out of one game in which he sprained a ligament that somehow meant he wasn’t tough.

Perception isn’t always reality. Sometimes perception is the reality we chose to create.

 

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