"I think A-Rod is actually in the Jay Cutler category, people just love to hate on him," Barkley said Monday on ESPN 1000's "The Waddle & Silvy Show." "If you look at (Rodriguez being benched in the ALCS) from the outside looking in, there were guys hitting less than A-Rod who nobody even mentioned. There are just certain guys that people ... that they just don't like him. ... And I think Jay Cutler, unfortunately, he's in that category, like 'We're not going to like him no matter what.'"
Barkley is a fan of Cutler and spent time with the quarterback and Brandon Marshall on Sunday night, and he doesn't think all of the criticism of Rodriguez was fair.
"I don't think I had ever met Jay before, but I'm a fan of those two guys," Barkley said. "And I want to see them do well, so I wanted to do something nice for them. They got great chemistry together."
Barkley said Cutler and Tony Romo are probably the two most criticized quarterbacks.
"I'm kind of standing back, looking," Barkley said. "When he pushed the guy and everybody went crazy, I'm like 'Dude, that happens every single game.'
"I think Jay has done a fantastic job. He did a good job in Denver. Think about it, Denver has been looking for a quarterback every since he left (in 2009). I don't get caught up in these guys' personalities. We've all played with guys we might not like. That to me is no big deal. We just got to win. That's all I care about. But I don't judge guys by their personalities. I think that's a little bit overrated.
"But Jay's just one of those guys people take shots at. ... Let's just win games and people are going to like you. That's the bottom line."