A source within Halas Hall confirmed to me that the Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler have moved closer to a contract that will keep the superstar quarterback in Chicago for many years to come. Both sides are relatively optimistic that something will get done by the middle of the season, but there’s no specific timetable from either side.
Fans may be surprised to hear that Cutler expressed concerns last season over offensive coordinator Mike Martz and the lack of skill position players especially at the wide receiver position. To address his concerns, the Bears forced Martz to leave, moved offensive line coach Mike Tice into the offensive coordinator role, brought his former Denver Broncos coach Jeremy Bates in as his quarterback coach (and some say the real offensive coordinator), traded for his old pal Brandon Marshall and drafted Alshon Jeffrey. These moves helped proved to Cutler that the Bears were serious about keeping him in Chicago. One of the reasons why former general manager Jerry Angelo was relieved of his duties was because of his inabilities to address Cutler’s concerns.
Cutler is seeking a contract similar to some of the league’s top quarterbacks like Eli Manning and Tom Brady. According to my source, the Bears have no issue with paying Cutler that type of money but the years and guaranteed money are the two negotiating points. The Bears want Cutler a year or so longer than what the Cutler side wants, and in exchange Cutler is seeking more guaranteed money. But it isn’t anything different than other negotiations around the league. The option of the franchise tag is potentially available to the Bears, but this isn’t the route either side wants to go.
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