The Chicago Bears made a major commitment to Jay Cutler on Thursday as No. 6 agreed to be the Bears’ starting quarterback from now until at least 2020. However, Cutler’s seven-year contact worth approximately $53 million in guaranteed money sure puts on a damper on Chicago’s chances at acquiring top-notch free agents in future years.
Thankfully, the offense seems to be set. Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery are all under contract and each provide game-changing abilities that are second to none. Unfortunately, the same can not be said about a Chicago defense that ranked dead last against the run in 2014 by allowing over 5.5 yards per carry. Therefore, there is sure to be a major shakeup on that side of the ball.
Tim Jennings is one of the few players on this Chicago defense that has a contract as big names like Henry Melton, Charles Tillman and Jeremiah Ratliff are all free to leave the Windy City. On top of that, Julius Peppers is set to make $13.9 million in 2014 — an amount that he surely isn’t worth at this stage in his career. Thus, talk around town has been that head coach Marc Trestman should transition to a 3-4 defense next season.
With a ton of free agents and Cutler’s contract taking up a large sum of the payroll, the Bears might have no choice but to try something new. Either way, No. 6’s payday came at a price and Chicago fans might not be too happy with this seven-year deal once they find out the toll it’s bound to take on an already weakened defense.