No one could have been happier for Eli Manning than Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Manning, the Super Bowl XLII-winning NY Giants QB just inked a 6-year $97.5 million contract extension. Cutler’s 2009 $1 million salary essentially amounts to tip money compared to the roughly $15.3 mill that little Peyton will be pulling in next season.
David Haugh has this covered like at blanket at Bears camp in Bourbonnais and got the following quotes from the franchise quarterback.
“That’s how it goes, guys get more and more money as time goes on and the level of play gets better and better,” Cutler said. “Peyton and Tom raised the bar and they got some big contracts. Eli followed up.”
Notice the guys Jay mentions – Tom [Brady] and Peyton and Eli [Manning]. Do you know what they have in common? Aside from fat wallets, they all have rings. That’s right, Super Bowl wins on their resumes. Lose a Super Bowl and you get to compete for the backup job for the Texans, right Rex?
“At a certain point there will be a time and a place for [a contract extension] but I have to prove myself on the field,” Cutler said. “But maybe after this season, maybe after next season we’ll sit down and talk and see what we can do,” Cutler said.
He chuckled when asked if the going rate for Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks is $100 million.
“That’s the word on the street I guess,” Cutler said. “Congratulations to Eli, he’s a good guy. He deserves it.”
As always, Jay seems to be saying all the right things. I couldn’t agree more – prove yourself on the field and then worry about getting the big dollars. I hope that attitude continues. That’s the way to get in the good graces of the fans.
If he is successful here, there will be no shortage of cash heading his way from the Bears and all the endorsement deals. Think about it, winning a Super in Chicago is like setting up an annuity. Whenever you need a quick batch of cash, go out and endorse a salsa, wine or cigar and here comes the cash.
Here’s the tough question if you’re the Bears – do you sit down at the bargaining table now, before Jay has accomplished anything to try to get him on the cheap or do you wait until, oh, I don’t know, he actually plays a game before committing some $30 million in guaranteed money to the anointed one?
Cutler is signed for three more years for relatively small dollars. Knowing how Jerry Angelo and Ted Phillips work, they will probably wait until after this season before they belly up to the bar, so to speak. If the Bears do go out and win the Super Bowl before a new contract is hammered out, I think the Bears will gladly pay up.
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