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Bears release quarterback Jay Cutler after eight seasons

The Bears released Jay Cutler on Thursday after eight seasons with the team.
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The Bears announced the release of Jay Cutler on Thursday after eight seasons with the team.

The mercurial quarterback becomes a free agent with Chicago expected to sign QB Mike Glennon to a contract. Cutler was acquired in a 2009 trade that saw the Bears surrender multiple high draft picks to the Broncos.

Although the team struggled year-to-year, making just one playoff appearance in his tenure, Cutler became the first quarterback in franchise history to post five 3,000 passing yard seasons. He also struggled with turnovers, throwing 109 interceptions in 102 regular-season games with Chicago. He played under six different offensive coordinators in eight seasons.

"We are grateful to Jay for all he did as a Bear," Bears chairman George McCaskey said in a statement. "His ability, toughness, and intelligence were on daily display at Halas Hall and Soldier Field. He had an extraordinary impact off the field, doing things for people -- especially kids -- without expecting or wanting any recognition. I was and am a big fan of his. We wish Jay, Kristin and their three kids all the best."

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Cutler turns 34 in April and becomes a free agent after an injury-plagued season in which he made just five starts.