If the history of the Chicago Bears’ franchise has proven one thing, it is that it is a difficult process in trying to find a suitable starting quarterback.
That is a process that could start once again for the Bears next off-season with starting quarterback Jay Cutler entering the final year of his contract.
The Bears appear to be taking the same strategy that the Baltimore Ravens took with Joe Flacco last season. Flacco was in a contract year last season with the Ravens and the team opted to let Flacco play the season out before signing the quarterback to a contract extension.
That proved to be a stroke of genius for the Ravens as Flacco led the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory. That resulted in the Ravens making Flacco the highest paid quarterback in the league.
Flacco is one of three notable quarterbacks that signed contract extensions this off-season. Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo and Detroit Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford were the other two.
Stafford signed his extension with the Lions on Friday.
The details of the extension for Stafford was 3 years, $53 million ($41.5 million guaranteed).
Romo signed a six year, $108 million ($55 million guaranteed) extension with the Cowboys.
To assess Cutler’s value, the current segment running on Sportscenter is a good place to start.
In recent weeks, Ron Jaworski of ESPN has been ranking the starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Jaworski ranked Romo at 15 and Cutler one higher at 14.
Cutler and Romo have drawn close comparisons to one another throughout their respective careers.
Romo, who became the Cowboys’ starting quarterback during the early portions of the 2006 season, has a career quarterback rating of 95.6 to go along with a completion percentage of 64.7 with 177 touchdowns and 91 interceptions.
Cutler, started five games for the Denver Broncos during the 2006 season before becoming the team’s full-time starting quarterback in 2007. For his career, Cutler has a quarterback rating 84.0 to go along with a completion percentage of 60.8 with 136 touchdowns and 100 interceptions.
As things stand now, it does not appear that Cutler will break the $100 million plateau.
However, if the Bears decide to take the Ravens’ approach then $100 million may be possible for Cutler with a successful season under new head coach Marc Trestman.
From the Bears’ perspective, it would appear that the team could save money by signing Cutler to a contract extension this season.
The talk of the Bears letting Cutler walk at the end of the season to become a free agent needs to stop.
The Bears are going to sign Cutler to a contract extension.
For that reason, now is the right time for Cutler’s contract extension.