Dec 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) prior to a game against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Editor’s Note: Hey readers, we’re auditioning a new prospective writer, so we tasked him with giving us a post on the Jay Cutler contract extension to test his writing chops. Here’s his piece. Post your comments and let us know what you think.
By Michael Curcio
Chicago Bears franchise quarterback – Jay Cutler…..like it or not, get used to that statement, Bear fans. With so much adversity surrounding this controversial deal, I have enclosed a few items to consider to help you form as informed and objective opinion as possible. A knee-jerk reaction is not a good way to form an opinion, so here are 4 factors that I believe will possibly assist in keeping the Cutler adversaries off of the ledge:
1. Winning should be looked at as one of many factors, not the deciding factor
This seems like an obvious one but I keep hearing from fans opposing this deal about how Jay does not win enough (39-28 with Bears), especially against our colleagues to the North. However, I think it’s fair to say that our colleagues to the North have had far superior talent than any Jay Cutler led Bears team.
The last time that I checked, there are 52 other players on an NFL roster that influence a game as well as a staff of 8 or more coaches. Each game is different and should be analyzed that way. The question should be asked…”Did the quarterback do enough to win the game?” Kind of cliché, but there is only so much that is in their control, right?
For example, in his Bears debut in 2009 vs. the Pack when Jay threw 4 interceptions, the answer is a definitive no. However, in the painful 2013 season finale, I think you can answer with a definitive yes, based on his performance statistics. The quarterback is not responsible for running routes, calling plays, coaching instability, protection and most of all, the play of the defense. (See: Career of Peyton and Eli’s father)
2. Understand the financial terms of the deal and what the market looks like
Unlike the contracts in other pro major sports, those in the NFL don’t guarantee players their full price or duration. Rather, they contain a chunk of guaranteed money, plus salaries for given seasons, should players remain with the team for those seasons. In this deal, Cutler is getting around $54 million guaranteed and the Bears have signed him to a 7 year deal.
However, the Bears can cut ties with Cutler in 2017 with zero strings attached. The annual salary ranks 6th the guaranteed chunk of change is tied for 2nd with Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning. There are some experts that believe he would have gotten more in the open market. At first glance, this seems to be high, but consider supply and demand.
This brings us to the next factor…