Bears are actively trying to trade quarterback Jay Cutler: reports

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CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 31: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears looks to pass the ball during the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on October 31, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — It’s a break-up that many have hoped would happen between a struggling football team and their quarterback.

Now following an injury-riddled 2016 season, it appears the separation between the Bears and Jay Cutler is more imminent.

Per a number of reports on Tuesday, the team has already begun to seek a trade partner for the quarterback prior to the 2017 season. This is not a major surprise considering Cutler’s mediocre success during his eight seasons with the Bears that has produced just one playoff appearance during that time.

Plus the guaranteed money in the contract Cutler signed before the 2014 season has run out, giving the Bears more motivation to part ways with Cutler. Jeff Darlington of ESPN was the first to report that the Bears were beginning to look around for a team willing to take the quarterback.

Acquired in a trade with the Broncos before the 2009 season, Cutler has a 51-51 record with the Bears in that time. He’s completed 61.9 percent of his passes for 23,443 yards with 143 touchdowns compared to 109 interceptions, earning a quarterback rating of 85.2 in that time.

He led them the playoffs in the 2010 season when the team won the NFC North division title and advance to the NFC Championship Game. Cutler injured his knee against the Packers in the first half of the game at Soldier Field and didnt’ return in a 21-14 loss. Since then the Bears have missed the playoffs with the team finishing under .500 the last three seasons.

A thumb injury in September then a torn labrum in November limited Cutler to five games in 2016 – his lowest total since his rookie year in Denver back in 2006. He threw for 1,059 yards with four touchdowns compared to five interceptions with 59.1 competion percentage.