5 Reasons Why The Chicago Bears Re-Signing Jay Cutler Is A Win
Re-Signing Jay Cutler Is Huge Win
Jay Cutler officially re-signed with the Chicago Bears today for a seven-year, $126 million contract with around $54 million guaranteed. Deciding on what to do with Cutler was priority No. 1 for the Bears this offseason, and unfortunately for them and their fans, their offseason began early this year. While it’s easy to trash the re-signing, in the end, it could turn out to be a big win for Chicago.
Cutler has been somewhat of an enigma during his eight year career in the NFL. He started out with the Denver Broncos, started his second and third year, failed to make the playoffs either season, and was eventually traded. The fact that the Broncos gave up on Cutler after only 37 games should have told the entire story, but the Bears brought him in to be their franchise quarterback.
And for the past five seasons, that’s exactly what Cutler has tried to be. While he hasn’t shown himself to be worthy of the franchise quarterback title, he has also played with three different offensive coordinators, two head coaches, and an offensive line that couldn’t block a statue. Since 2009, Cutler has been sacked a total of 167 times during the regular season.
Being the starting quarterback on any team means you are going to be the player who receives the most criticism when the team fails to win. Since joining the Bears, Cutler has led them to the playoffs once (2010), despite having only one losing season. Having to contend with the Green Bay Packers every season for the division title is a mighty task to overcome, so getting to the playoffs becomes that much harder, sort of like playing in the same division as any Peyton Manning or Tom Brady led team.
The re-signing does a lot of good for the Chicago Bears, some that many may not have thought about. Here are the top five reasons the Bears re-signing Cutler is a win for the team and city.
5. Allows Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears To Gain Offensive Consistency
Consistency is something everyone needs if they want to succeed. If you have to change the way you do your job every year, it would be hard to obtain any kind of rhythm during your career. For Cutler, that’s exactly what has happened during his tenure in Chicago.
Some quarterbacks have the ability to make things happen no matter what situation they are put in -- like Tom Brady this season -- and others need time to build chemistry with their teams. Cutler is a guy who needs time to build chemistry and confidence, especially when dealing with new coaches and teammates. Giving him a seven-year deal allows him to relax and solely work on building a consistency with his offense, allowing him to return to the Pro-Bowl quarterback he once was.
4. Spreading Out Salary Allows Chicago Bears To Fix Defense
Signing Cutler to a seven-year deal allows the Bears to spread out his salary so they can have the optimal amount of salary cap space each offseason. Spreading his $126 million out evenly would make his yearly salary $18 million. It will be important for the Bears to hang on to their offensive weapons like Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, but their defense needs some major work.
The defense was ranked 15th in passing yards allowed, but dead last in rushing yards. Losing Pro-Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher was a blow they didn’t recover from this year. Using whatever extra cap space they have to give Cutler a solid defense could be the turning point in the Bears' championship hopes.
3. Jay Cutler Will Be Playing With A Giant Chip On His Shoulder
Whenever you’re the quarterback of a large market team, you’re going to have to play well or be subjected to large amounts of criticism, and that’s exactly what has happened to Cutler in Chicago. Leading the Bears to only one playoff berth, then taking himself out of the NFC Championship game that year earned him some unfavorable headlines.
All the criticism has left a giant chip on Cutler’s shoulder, one that had him playing like his old Pro-Bowl self this year. Cutler also proved this year that he would play through pain, even if it wasn’t the best move for his team. His massive contract has already drawn a tremendous amount of criticism, so the bigger his chip gets, the better a season he should have next year.
2. Long-Term Deal Should Eliminate Quarterback Controversy
Cutler has been subjected to quarterback controversy most of his career. His inability to lead his team to the playoffs and his inability to play through pain has led to many questioning whether or not he really is the best fit in Chicago. Just last week, against the Packers for the division title, some fans and pundits questioned whether Josh McCown would have given the Bears a better chance of winning than Cutler. It’s fair criticism, but signing Cutler to a long-term deal should remove the controversy talk for awhile, and doing so should boost Cutler’s confidence, which in turn would make him a better quarterback.
1. Aaron Kromer Will Bring Out Best In Jay Cutler
If the 2013 season proved one thing, it was that the Bears’ Aaron Kromer could bring out the best in Cutler. Cutler suffered a couple injuries that knocked him out of five games completely, but in the 11 games he did play, he threw for 2,621 yards, 19 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a career-high quarterback rating of 89.2. Having a competent offensive line also helped since it meant Cutler was sacked less (19 times).
Add in second year wideout Alshon Jeffery exploding for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns, along with Matt Forte rushing for a career-high 1,339 yards and nine touchdowns, and you see why Cutler had an exceptional season. Putting it all together for another year allows a healthy Cutler to gel with his offense even more, which will mean even bigger numbers and more wins.