The Chicago Bears wasted no time in locking up starting quarterback Jay Cutler to a long-term deal.
On Thursday, Bears general manager Phil Emery announced that team has signed Cutler to a seven-year contract extension. The terms of the contract were not disclosed at the time of the press conference.
While speaking of Cutler on Thursday, Emery indicated that he saw improvements from Cutler across the board during the 2013 season including being a leader for his teammates.
The new seven-year contract for Cutler will end any controversy that was created during the season. During the 2013 season, Cutler suffered a pair of injuries that forced the quarterback to miss a handful of games. In place of Cutler, backup quarterback Josh McCown excelled. McCown finished the season completing 149 of his 224 passes for a total of 1,829 passing yards to go along with 13 touchdowns and 1 interception.
By the time Cutler was ready to come back in early December, many were clamoring for McCown to remain the starter. However, Bears head coach Marc Trestman never wavered in his support of Cutler as the quarterback led the team during the final three games of the regular season.
Cutler finished the 2013 season with a passer rating of 89.2 to go along with a completion percentage of 63.1% with 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Cutler’s 7-year contract with the Bears not only secures the quarterback for the long-term, but officially anoints the 30-year old as the franchise quarterback for the Bears.