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Why Chicago had to sign Cutler

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07:24 AM ET 01.03 | Jay Cutler is back -- and for a very long time. The Bears can't win a Super Bowl with someone as erratic as Cutler, no matter how soothing the voice of Trestman, "the Horse Whisperer," might be in his ear. But -- and this "but" is as big as B.J. Raji's butt -- they had to sign him. Emery needs to focus on getting the defense right, and this is no time to be looking for a quarterback who is as good as Cutler. Sorry, Josh McCown fans, your guy is not a short- or long-term answer. A Cutler-led offense with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte isn't the problem. I used to be on the side of signing Cutler only if you think you can win a Super Bowl with him. But circumstances and a record-setting (not in a good way) defense slapped me out of that thinking. There isn't a better alternative.

Chicago Sun-Times

Jay Cutler, Getty Images Jay Cutler, Getty Images
January 3, 2014  08:05 AM ET

2014... Down goes Frazier.. I mean Cutler. Bears had no choice but to sign him... But for 7 years..?

January 3, 2014  08:13 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

2014... Down goes Frazier.. I mean Cutler. Bears had no choice but to sign him... But for 7 years..?

All the guaranteed money and cap hit is probably front loaded. My guess is Cutler never sees the last 3 years of that contract.

January 3, 2014  08:21 AM ET

Wow, they can't do any better? Really? For 7 years?

January 3, 2014  08:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

All the guaranteed money and cap hit is probably front loaded. My guess is Cutler never sees the last 3 years of that contract.

Agreed.. But for the next 4 years... He's living la vida loca.

January 3, 2014  08:45 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Wow, they can't do any better? Really? For 7 years?

This is the NFL. He'll be lucky to get 5 years out of this contract. It is going to be cap-friendly and help them improve the run defense.

January 3, 2014  08:46 AM ET

So we're leading with editorials now?

Comment #7 has been removed
January 3, 2014  08:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

My guess is Cutler never sees the last 3 years of that contract.

Agreed.

January 3, 2014  09:00 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Cutler isn't the problem. Improve the line. Rebuild the defense.

The O line is much improved, they even re-signed a guard on the same day they re-signed Cutler (and Jennings). The run D on the other hand....

January 3, 2014  09:04 AM ET

Cutler is not elite, but you don't need an elite QB to win. Half the starting QBs in the league are worse than Cutler, so it is by no means a slam dunk the team could do better if they let him go.

January 3, 2014  09:05 AM ET

All they had to do is put a franchise tag on him for 14 for almost the same amount of money he will get every year in his new deal. A lot of years to pay someone who has only won the division once since he has been there.

January 3, 2014  09:10 AM ET

Because Chicago knows all about winning Super Bowls with head over cleats, jaw dropping talent at Quarterback.
You can't smash the guy for not being good enough to win a super bowl and say it was the right move locking him up for seven years. His strength is his arm strength and always has been, once he hits 34 it'll turn into a water gun out there, one you'd buy from the back of K-mart.
The right move would been to sign him to a tender (16M, would've been less then 18M you'll pay him now in the first year), hope the Texans give him a better offer, sending you their first round pick to pick Bridgewater. At least then you have a quarterback who will imitate a professional quarterback for 5 years.

January 3, 2014  09:16 AM ET

Rebuilding that deplorable defense is now priority one.

January 3, 2014  09:24 AM ET

So you have no defense and a long term erratic QB. Knowing that, McCown should have gotten a 2 year deal and Cutler should have been traded for some quality draft picks. If you've acknowledged you have to re-build anyway, use the time to get the defense and the QB right. This won't end well for Trestman.

January 3, 2014  09:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Because Chicago knows all about winning Super Bowls with head over cleats, jaw dropping talent at Quarterback.You can't smash the guy for not being good enough to win a super bowl and say it was the right move locking him up for seven years. His strength is his arm strength and always has been, once he hits 34 it'll turn into a water gun out there, one you'd buy from the back of K-mart. The right move would been to sign him to a tender (16M, would've been less then 18M you'll pay him now in the first year), hope the Texans give him a better offer, sending you their first round pick to pick Bridgewater. At least then you have a quarterback who will imitate a professional quarterback for 5 years.

How exactly would they get the 1st pick in the draft from the Texans? Cutler would have been an UNrestricted free agent, not a restricted FA.

January 3, 2014  09:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

So you have no defense and a long term erratic QB. Knowing that, McCown should have gotten a 2 year deal

McCown said about a week ago he is considering retirement. Not that throwing a truckload of money at him couldn't change his mind but that is what the Bears have to consider.

January 3, 2014  09:33 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Rebuilding that deplorable defense is now priority one.

At the press conference the Bears held yesterday, GM Phil Emery talked a lot about the defense. He took some of the blame himself in regards to the depth within the squad, but he strongly suggested that ineffective coaching played into how poorly the defense performed. He and Marc Trestman know that there has to be a top-to-bottom look at the defense in the off-season.

January 3, 2014  09:38 AM ET

Counting on Martellus Bennett is a real bad idea.

January 3, 2014  09:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

All the guaranteed money and cap hit is probably front loaded. My guess is Cutler never sees the last 3 years of that contract.

Could be, but then that signing bonus money that is initially spread out over years gets pushed in to one year. Ya can play with the cap, but you cannot beat it. See Dallas-and many others.

 
January 3, 2014  09:43 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

How exactly would they get the 1st pick in the draft from the Texans? Cutler would have been an UNrestricted free agent, not a restricted FA.

They could have put the franchise tag on cutler two years in a row. Tell me if I am wrong.

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