Thoughts on Jay Cutler’s contract situation…
There’s been a lot of speculation in regards to Jay Cutler’s contract situation. Many think Cutler’s still the starter for the Chicago Bears and many think he’s played his last game at Solider Field. All in all, there are some clues to this puzzle that should answer more questions than people think. Let’s start with what Phil Emery had to say about using the franchise tag on Jay Cutler.
“The franchise tag for the quarterback position has unique challenges because the average comes out to be such a big portion of your cap and your total money available to spend on other players to acquire to help your team. With the franchise tag being so high for the quarterback position, to use it and not sign the individual to a long-term deal hurts the team because you lose the ability to prorate the amount of guaranteed salary over the length of the contract. Proration lowers the salary cap number in relation to that player’s contract. Obviously the lower the number in relation to the salary cap, the more players you can sign to help your team reach its goals.”- Phil Emery
If you ever get a chance to listen to Phil Emery talk, you should listen. The Chicago Bears’ general manager displays a sense of leadership and accountability that’s been missing for quite some time in Halas Hall. Plus, he tries to explain the exact situation to fans and in the process, educates them. That being said, in his little message above, Emery doesn’t sound too inclined to franchise tag his quarterback, whoever that might be. With the franchise tag for starting quarterbacks at 16.2 million for one year of service, who can blame him?
It’s a big risk and Phil Emery is all about calculated risk. There’s a reason he traded two 3rd round picks to Miami for troubled wide receiver, Brandon Marshall. Let’s not forget it was Phil Emery that traded up for Alshon Jeffery in the 2012 NFL draft. Above all, Phil Emery brought in current head coach, Marc Trestman, who has the current Bears’ offense playing at level that most Bears’ fans haven’t seen in years. Thus, when Phil Emery makes a move, he’s weighed out the risk and rewards in his decision. That’s why when Phil Emery sounds like he doesn’t want to use the franchise tag to solidify the quarterback position, he must have another plan. A well thought out plan, which brings me to Marc Trestman and what he has to say about Jay Cutler and Josh McCown.
According to Jason LaCanfora, Marc Trestman has told some people that Josh McCown reminds him a lot of his former quarterback, Rich Gannon. To remind some of you, Rich Gannon was the quarterback that Trestman coordinated to Superbowl 37 during his Oakland years as a offensive coordinator. Care to take a guess how old Gannon was when he signed with the Raiders that 1999 season? If you guessed 34, you are correct. Which ironically, is the same age Josh McCown is right now. Hence, why a lot of people are calling Josh McCown the new Rich Gannon. Add in McCown’s 13 passing touchdowns, one interception, and stellar 109.8 quarterback ratting, you could make the case that McCown should be the starter. Marc Trestman says otherwise.
“There’s no change in the plan. We’ll see where Jay is this week. He’ll have to be released by the doctors. When Jay is ready to play, he’ll be playing.”- Marc Trestman
Trestman said this just moments after the Monday game versus the Dallas Cowboys. Take that in people, just moments after his starting quarterback for that game threw four touchdowns. Moments after his offense never punted the ball once. Moments after Josh McCown became the first Bears’ quarterback to throw three straight 300 yard games. I don’t know about you, but if Trestman had any thoughts or plans on moving on without Cutler at the helm, he’s got a funny way of showing it.
Has it really been five years since Jay Cutler was traded to the Chicago Bears? Jeez, time flies by. Sadly, Cutler hasn’t had the great success most Bears’ fans or Cutler himself, dreamed of when he first donned the navy blue and burnt orange jersey. There were dreams and hopes of the Lombardi trophy being hoisted in Chicago again and dare I say, dynasty thoughts? Before Cutler arrived, the Bears had a great defense and special team unit but they were still missing that one glorified piece. It’s a piece that most teams in the NFL are still looking for. That’s why the rumors of Jay Cutler to Nashville, St.Louis, or even Houston, seem so possible. Teams that are desperate for quarterbacks will always overpay for a quarterback. The Chicago Bears did it five years ago and they won’t be the last team to do it either.
In the end, it’s not going to come down to the Bears if Cutler wants to stay. It’s not even going to come down to Phil Emery or Marc Trestman. In the end, it will come down to where Jay Cutler wants to finish his career at. Right now, Jay Cutler has a lot of options and I’m sure he’s had plenty of time to think about his future. There’s no doubt in my mind, Jay Cutler knows his best chance of having a successful long term career is in Chicago, IL. The Bears have finally provided Jay Cutler with an improved offensive line, multiple receiving weapons at his disposal, and an offensive minded coach that caters to his talents, something he never had in his previous four seasons as a Chicago Bear. Quite frankly, there’s only one thing stopping Jay Cutler from staying in a navy blue and brunt orange jersey, money.
I don’t see Bears’ general manager, Phil Emery, overpaying or utilizing the franchise tag on Jay Cutler. In my opinion, Phil Emery and Cliff Stein have a set price for Cutler and Cutler already knows it. Emery and Trestman are two meticulous and driven individuals, who’s only goal is to bring multiple championships to Chicago. If that’s not Jay Cutler’s goal then I don’t think he’s the answer for the Bears and Bears’ fans should be happy if chooses to go somewhere else.