Let the Jay Cutler-to-the-Jets rumors begin.
On Wednesday, the organization announced the hiring of former Bears assistant Jeremy Bates as quarterbacks coach. Bates, the 40-year-old son of former NFL and college coach Jim Bates, last coached in 2012, when he held the same position with the Bears. His quarterback at the time? Jay Cutler.
There’s speculation that the Bears are interested in moving on from Cutler, 33, whom they signed to a seven-year, $126.7-million deal in 2014. He carries a $16-million cap hit in 2017. CBS Sports reported last week that the Bears are seriously interested in trading for Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who played at Eastern Illinois.
Bates first worked with Cutler in Denver as an assistant under Mike Shanahan (2006-08). In Bates’ final year with the Broncos, he helped the quarterback become a Pro Bowl selection. He reunited with Cutler in Chicago in 2012. Current Jets running back Matt Forte and receiver Brandon Marshall played for the Bears at the time.
Bates, who worked on Herman Edwards’ Jets staff in 2005, will see plenty of familiar faces in Florham Park. He’ll reunite with new offensive coordinator John Morton, who was on the same USC staff in 2009 with coach Pete Carroll. The following year, Bates joined Carroll in Seattle, becoming the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator in 2010.
The Jets’ coaching staff underwent a massive makeover after a 5-11 season. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey retired, and coach Todd Bowles parted ways with defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, running backs coach Marcel Shipp, outside linebackers coach Mark Collins, quarterbacks coach Kevin Patullo and defensive backs Joe Danna.
The Jets also announced the additions of offensive as sistant/assistant quarterbacks coach Mick Lombardi, offensive assistant Jason Vrable and Joe Giacobbe as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.