Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is the fourth-most disliked athlete in the country according to a Nielsen/E-Poll published by Forbes Magazine. Cutler was found to “appeal to” just 21 percent of responders to a nationwide poll, which makes him more loathed than two other NFL quarterbacks who have distinguished themselves as targets for contempt: Michael Vick (23 percent) and Tony Romo (27 percent).

Lance Armstrong led—or finished last, it would be better to say—all voting with 15 percent appeal, a figure which tied him with Manti Te’o. Forbes gave the nod to Armstrong because even in the recent wake of the Lennay Kekua hoax, he is still a more well-known figure according to the poll's awareness scores.
However, both those athletes can point to recent, unbecoming appearances in the news as the source of their decline in appeal. Te’o in particular, dropped from 88 percent appeal on the night of the BCS Championship Game, to 15 percent after news of his fabricated relationship broke. Cutler is over two years removed from what Forbes identifies as most unpopular hour—when he was perceived to have been unwilling to play through pain in the 2011 NFC Championship Game—and yet polling shows that there has been no public warming to him.
That event has had plenty of time to be picked over, and for a full cycle of reaction articles to be run that argued that Cutler’s diagnosis of a Grade 2 tear in the MCL ligament in his left knee rendered questions of his willingness to play moot. And yet, Cutler’s image has somehow worsened, since he did not even appear on the 2012 version of the list.

What could have prompted his slide?
Despite teammates Devin Hester and Brandon Marshall coming to its defense in 2012, Cutler's on-field demeanor drew plenty of criticism from NFL analysts in the past year, particularly from Tom Jackson, Bill Cowher and Terry Bradshaw. Lovie Smith’s dismissal following a 2012 season where the offense finished a dismal 29th in the NFL in passing yards provided fuel for some to question whether Cutler was a “coach killer”.
Or it could simply be that the biggest national stories Cutler has been behind in his career have been the NFC Championship Game, and his role in the Denver Broncos decision to trade him. The lack of playoff appearances in the past two seasons have kept him from forging a new postseason legacy.