Jay Cutler, Bears announce 7-year deal
The Bears have re-signed quarterback Jay Cutler to a seven-year deal that will keep him in Chicago through the 2020 season. General manager Phil Emery announced the news at a press conference on Thursday morning.
No terms were announced, but NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports that Cutler will receive $126 million over the course of the contract, with $54 million in guaranteed money.
Emery said on Thursday that Cutler is a "demonstrated winner" and called this past season Cutler's best, based on his "leadership, his improvement, his display of toughness."
The 30-year-old former Pro Bowler returned to action in December after missing part of the season with a high ankle sprain suffered on Nov. 10.
He was overshadowed at times by Josh McCown, who filled in for Cutler while he was sidelined. McCown was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 14, prompting former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher to say that McCown should remain the starter. Head coach Marc Trestman had made it clear throughout Cutler's rehab that he would become the team's quarterback again once healthy.
Emery alluded on Thursday to Cutler's perseverance this season:
"We’re very excited to have Jay for the long term,” Emery said. “He battled through the tough times and kept fighting."
Cutler is 39-28 as a starter in his five seasons with the Bears. He has amassed 14,913 passing yards with 101 touchdowns, while throwing 75 interceptions during his career in Chicago.
The Bears' season wrapped up on Sunday with a 33-28 loss at home to the Green Bay Packers. Chicago finished 8-8 and second in the NFC North.