On his Monday evening radio show on ESPN 1000, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler expressed confidence in the idea of the signing a long-term contract with the team in the off-season.
“I’m confident in our ability [to get a deal done], and in [Bears general manager] Phil [Emery] and [team Chairman] George [McCaskey] and everyone over there that we’ll find equal ground and get it worked out,” Cutler said. “I don’t know when it’s going to happen, and eventually, it might not happen. But we’re going to take a crack at it for sure.-Jay Cutler, ESPN Chicago
By all accounts both the Bears and Cutler want the quarterback to return next season. When that is the case, usually the two sides in question are able to work out a deal.
Despite his interest and confidence in returning to the Bears, Cutler is aware that the NFL is a business and that he may not have a new deal by the start of the new league year.
“I don’t know if I’d be surprised [if I didn't have a deal by the start of the new league year]; maybe disappointed. But like I said, this is a business and we all know that. Everybody in that locker room knows that. We had guys [on Monday] cleaning out their locker who knew they would probably not be Bears next year. That’s how it goes.”-Cutler, ESPN Chicago
Cutler also knows that if he were to test the open market, then the free agent quarterback would receive more money.
“I don’t care what position you play; if you hit the open market you are going to make more [money] as a free agent because they overpay,” Cutler said. “You’re going to have a couple of teams lobbying, and if that’s your goal, you’ll get as much money as you possibly can but from somewhere else. Typically if you stay at home and you stay where you are at, of course, you’re going to take a little bit less; just from not having to move or relocate or deal with stuff like learning new plays and new teammates. It’s a business and we’ll see.-Cutler, ESPN Chicago
If Cutler reaches the open market, there is no question that he would become the best quarterback available to teams this off-season. With teams such as the Tennessee Titans preparing a strong push for Cutler, the 30-year old quarterback would be destined to receive a significant payday if he were to hit the open market.
That being said, Cutler did open the door to the idea of taking a discount to remain with the Bears. Cutler alluded to the idea that free agents take less if they stay at home. Home for Cutler would be in Chicago.
Chicago being the place where Cutler would like to stay.
If you polled quarterbacks around the league everyone wants to come here. It would be fun to stay here. Obviously I want to stay here. But it’s a business.”-Cutler, ESPN Chicago
No word on when the negotiations will start between Cutler and the Bears if they haven’t already, but the guess here is that the Bears would like to have their quarterback situation defined before the start of the new league year on March 11. General manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman are addressing the media on Thursday, expect reporters to be locked and loaded with Cutler questions and speculation.