Bears re-sign Jay Cutler through 2020 season

1/2/14 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

The Chicago Bears entered the 2013 season with some serious evaluating to do at the quarterback position - Jay Cutler was entering the final season of his contract, and the Bears had to decide whether or not he would be the long-term answer behind center. After a disappointing season in which the team missed the playoffs, the Bears still ultimately decided to bring Cutler back on a seven-year deal that will keep him in Chicago through the 2020 season.

Dec 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) drops back to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY SportsThe decision is questionable for a number of reasons. Cutler was having the best season of his career through the first seven games of the season, but missed a good chunk of the middle of the year with groin and ankle injuries. Injury is nothing new for Cutler, who hasn't played 16 games in a single season since 2009.

When Cutler was sidelined, backup journeyman Josh McCown came in and lit it up to the tune of a 109.0 passer rating, playing even better than Cutler had been. When Cutler was healthy enough to return, head coach Marc Trestman decided to stick with his opening day starter and sent McCown to the bench in favor of Cutler. Despite being plugged back into the starting lineup with a division-best record of 7-6, Cutler went 1-2 during the final three games of the season, allowing the Green Bay Packers to beat them out for the playoff berth out of the NFC North.

Cutler finished the season with a record of 5-6 as the starter, while McCown wrapped up the year with a 3-2 mark.

In five years as the Bears' starting quarterback, Cutler has reached the playoffs just once and has just two winning seasons. A lot of teams would be cautious in re-signing a quarterback who is just 1-for-5 when it comes to making the playoffs, but the Bears have decided to lock him up for seven years.

Another option for the Bears would have been to re-sign McCown on a short-term deal, then draft a quarterback in one of the early-to-middle rounds. Quarterback guru Trestman would get to hand-pick a talent that he has faith in, and the Bears could develop the youngster with McCown - who has proven that he can be effective in Trestman's offense - as a stopgap.

However, Trestman has apparently decided that Cutler is his man, and he and general manager Phil Emery are showing a ton of faith in Cutler with this deal. What they are looking at is likely Cutler's monster arm and his strong rapport with the Bears' wide receivers, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Cutler has posted a passer rating in the 80's in four consecutive seasons, but has never reached 90.0 in his career.

Cutler is now under contract with the Bears through his age-37 season.
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1/2/14   |   Jess   |   34505 respect

Scott wrote:
Not to mention A LOT of money for a guy who has made the playoffs 1 time in his career

That too!

1/2/14   |   Scott   |   52090 respect

Jess wrote:
That just seems like a lot of time to sign a guy who's gonna be 31 soon.

Not to mention A LOT of money for a guy who has made the playoffs 1 time in his career

1/2/14   |   Jess   |   34505 respect

That just seems like a lot of time to sign a guy who's gonna be 31 soon.

1/2/14   |   Scott   |   52090 respect

Trestman's offense is beneficial to any quarterback.  I like the idea of signing McCown to a short deal, drafting a quarterback for the future and spending the money to revamp the porous defense.  If anybody can develop a QB, it's Trestman