The contract status of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been highly debated in the city of Chicago. The debate has been over whether or not the Bears should bring Cutler back for the 2014 season and whether that should be on a short-term option with the franchise tag or with a long-term contract.
This past week, Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery seemed to suggest that the team was not going to use the franchise tag on Cutler because of the restrictions it would put on the team’s salary cap. Given that inclination, the consensus is that the Bears and Cutler will reach an agreement on a long-term contract after the season.
A contract that might see the quarterback be guaranteed $50 million or $60 million. The argument can be made that Cutler’s sample size this season has been too small for the team to warrant that much guaranteed money to the quarterback. Something that if the Bears opt not to do, Cutler will undoubtedly test the open market.
If Cutler reaches the open market, the Tennessee Titans will make a strong push for the quarterback. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the Titans have Cutler on their radar and that the quarterback is interested in being in Tennessee if he is not back with the Bears next season.
The operative part of the last sentence being that part that says “not back with the Bears next season.” While anything is possible, it seems highly unlikely that the Bears will not sign Cutler to a new contract after the season. Emery and head coach Marc Trestman have made comments throughout the season that would seem to indicate that the Bears realize just how important Cutler is to their offense. For that reason, the team is likely going to sign Cutler to a long-term deal after the season.
Cutler’s contract status will continue to be debated until the off-season, but for the Bears’ front office, there is no debate. Cutler will be with the Bears in 2014 and beyond.