The Chicago Bears signed quarterback Jay Cutler to a seven-year, $126 million contract extension on Jan. 2.
More precisely, the deal will ensure Cutler is in a Bears uniform through the 2020 season, per Larry Mayer of the team’s official website.
Financial terms of his contract were not divulged, although his teammate and Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall tweeted on Jan. 2,”BOOM…JAY 7 for 126…Congrats now let’s go win.”
Michael C. Wright of ESPN Chicago added more details regarding Cutler’s new paycheck:
“Although financial terms were not released, Cutler’s deal is expected to eclipse the $17.6 million average the Detroit Lions gave Matthew Stafford in July. It also includes at least $50 million in guaranteed money, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.”
For his part, Cutler said the deal will give him a legitimate shot at winning a Super Bowl ring with the Bears.
“I can’t speak for every player, but you get to a certain point (when you wonder) what’s the most important part of your career. Do you want to say,’Hey, I made ‘X’ amount of dollars,’ or ‘Hey, I won championships?’
“I talked to guys like (Matt) Forte, (Brandon Marshall), (Roberto) Garza and all the guys. We’re here to win championships, not to make so and so amount of dollars. That was my thought process, whether it’s $15 million or it’s $22 million, it’s hard to spend all that in your lifetime.
“I’m excited. I don’t feel a lot of pressure right now. I just feel at ease. I know that I’m locked in here. The future is set. Now it’s just about going out and being the best quarterback I can and helping lead this team in the direction we want to go.
“I was telling (Marshall) a couple of days ago, I’m ready for OTAs. I’m ready to get this thing going. I’m ready to start working on what we’ve been building on.”
The Bears play caller also had a conversation with The Chicago Tribune’s Rich Campbell and Dan Wiederer. He told them about how his new contract compares to his relationship with his head coach, Marc Trestman, and his mindset when it comes to critics who will make side comments about his new extension.
“I’m happy to be married to him (Trestman) for seven more years.
“Moving forward there will definitely be people that say this is the wrong move. That’s fine. The people in this building will stick together and keep going in the direction that is right.”
Mayer also interviewed Chicago general manager Phil Emery, who is just as excited.
“We’re very excited to have Jay here for the long term. He had his best season as a pro from a statistical outlook. I also think he had his best season as a pro in terms of his leadership, his improvement, his display of toughness, his ability to bounce back, his ability to handle pressure and his ability to come back and win games.”
In addition to the Cutler signing, the Bears also inked cornerback Tim Jennings and guard Matt Slauson to four-year extensions, according to Wright.
The 30-year-old Cutler, who also played for the Denver Broncos from 2006-08, just concluded his eighth NFL season. In 2013, he threw for 2,621 yards and 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
For his career, he has amassed 23,937 passing yards, 155 touchdowns and 112 interceptions for a career passer rating of 84.6, per ESPN stats.