Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery dropped a bit of a bombshell on Wednesday when he announced that the team would not be signing any players to contract extensions during the 2013 season. That means the team’s quarterback, Jay Cutler, won’t be getting a new deal before the 2014 season.
Cutler signed a two-year, $30 million contract extension in October of 2009 that altered his contract to run through the 2013 season. If Cutler can’t improve on his play so far during his time in Chicago, the Bears could opt to go in another direction in the offseason. Basically, Cutler gets to play for his next contract this season.
The Bears hired quarterback guru Mark Trestman as their new head coach this offseason. If Cutler is actually open to working with and trusting Trestman, then there’s almost no doubt he’ll improve under his tutelage. But Cutler has had rocky relationships with his past two offensive coordinators in Chicago (Mike Martz and Mike Tice) and he’s long been known as a tough guy to deal with. My money is on the 30-year-old finally growing up a bit and accepting advice from Trestman though.
Cutler has claimed he’s not worried about his contract situation, and that’s probably a good thing for Bears fans. If Cutler were to play while pouting about not getting a new deal, it would only mean bad things for the team.
Cutler has been in Chicago for four seasons now, and in that time he has completed just 59.6 percent of his passes and thrown for 82 touchdowns and 63 interceptions. His quarterback rating during that time is a pedestrian 81.9.
Defensive tackle Henry Melton is also impacted by the team’s no extension announcement. He will play the 2013 season as the team’s franchise player and is also in need of a new, long-term deal.