Bears keeping Jay Cutler as QB, agreeing on 7-year contract
Chicago signed Jay Cutler to a seven-year contract Thursday, ending speculation they might make a change after five seasons of good and bad from their talented signal caller.
Seattle Times news services
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — If the Bears make changes this offseason, it will not be at quarterback.
Chicago signed Jay Cutler to a $126 million, seven-year contract Thursday, ending speculation they might make a change after five seasons of good and bad from their talented signal caller. Cutler clearly thrived under first-year coach Marc Trestman and now has some of the best complements on offense he’s had since arriving in Chicago in 2009.
“It’s not always been easy,” Cutler said. “There’s been some ups and downs. There’s been some bad years. There’s been some good years. I think it makes me appreciate the moment I’m in even more, with the offensive weapons we have, with the type of leadership we have from the front office, with the type of coaching staff we have with the play calling and our (offensive) install. It makes me happy I’m here.”
The Bears also signed cornerback Tim Jennings, who has led the team in interceptions in each of the past two seasons, and guard Matt Slauson to four-year deals. Like Cutler, both players were scheduled to become free agents.
General manager Phil Emery said the team and Cutler’s agent, Bus Cook, completed contract discussions three days after the season ended Sunday with a 33-28 loss to the Green Bay Packers in a game that decided the NFC North title.
Terms were not disclosed, but the deal for Cutler, 30, is reportedly worth $126 million, with $54 million guaranteed. Its $18 million average per season equals the Cowboys’ Tony Romo for sixth among quarterbacks.
Cutler produced his career-best passer rating of 89.2 in 2013, though he played in just 11 games due to ankle and groin injuries. He completed 224 of 355 passes for 2,621 yards and 19 touchdowns with 12 interceptions.
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