The Chicago Bears ended their season in what seemed like a way to sum up the entire season — a big play given up by the defense. Missing the playoffs in Marc Trestman’s first year with the team wasn’t necessarily too unexpected, but it sure didn’t come without questions heading into 2014.
One of the biggest questions, not only for the Bears, but around the entire league, was what they would do with veteran quarterback Jay Cutler, who was in the last year of his contract in 2013. Well, general manager Phil Emery decided to hold a press conference early Thursday morning to announce some big news regarding the 8th year pro.
Bears sign Jay Cutler through 2020
— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) January 2, 2014
You read that right. The Bears signed Cutler on a 7-year deal that reaches through the year 2020. Cutler will be 37 years old when his new deal expires. Cutler’s deal is reportedly worth an average of $18 million per year over the first three seasons.
So, what does this mean for Chicago and its future?
Well, first of all it means that Trestman is committed to the controversial quarterback. Cutler performed fairly well in 2013 prior to going down to two separate injuries. Under Trestman’s new offense, Cutler displayed the most potential he’s shown since entering the league eight years ago.
Out of Cutler’s nine full games he played, he finished with a rating over 90.0 in seven of them. Not too shabby for a guy notorious for making blatantly bad decisions, right?
With this deal, Chicago takes a huge risk however. Cutler still had moments where he continued to make those poor decisions, even in some of his big games. Fortunately, there were times where a ball that should have been picked off was simply dropped by a defender. In the two games he finished with a rating lower than 90.0, Cutler combined for four picks and a completion percentage right around 57 percent.
You better believe there are mixed feelings about this deal in the city of Chicago. But, do the fans have a choice now? I mean, let’s be real. Chicago is stuck with this guy for the next seven years. Fans better either hop on board and trust in their management and new head coach, or find a different team to root for real quickly. The next seven years could see just about anything happen with Cutler under center, but the Bears were wiling to risk it.