Jimmy Clausen gets a second chance; Jay Cutler still gets $54 million

Jimmy Clausen gets a second chance; Jay Cutler still gets $54 million
Bears quarterbacks Jimmy Clausen, right, and Jay Cutler talks before an Oct. 19 game in Chicago. (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)

Jay Cutler has been the Chicago Bears' starting quarterback since 2009.

Jimmy Clausen hasn't started a game since his rookie season back in 2010.

All that is about to change this weekend, as Clausen is set to replace the beleaguered Cutler under center when the Bears take on the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Coach Marc Trestman announced the move on Thursday.

Cutler already has set a career high this season in touchdown passes (28), and if his season is over, he will have also set career marks in completion percentage (66.1) and passer rating.

But his overall performance has been spotty, including 18 interceptions, as he's led the Bears to a 5-9 record for their second straight losing season. Plus, his perceived lack of emotion just really gets on the nerves of Chicago fans.

So the fact that Cutler got the hook really isn't all that shocking. The more surprising aspect of this story is that Clausen is actually still in the league.

A standout in high school (Oaks Christian) and college (Notre Dame), Clausen was drafted in the second round by Carolina in 2010. He was the Panthers' No. 1 quarterback by Week 3 of his rookie season but it took him nine starts to get his first (and only) NFL win.

Clausen finished that season 1-9 as a starter with three touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He remained on the Panthers' roster the next three seasons but didn't attempt another pass until coming to the Bears this season (he's three of nine for 42 yards).

And now he's getting a second chance. Great for him.

Not so much for Cutler. But that huge contract he signed during the off-season includes $54 million guaranteed. So at least he's still got that going for him.

Twitter: @chewkiii