With a seven-year deal worth a total of $126 million – $54 million of it guaranteed – Cutty remains the Windy City Sulker for the foreseeable future. Instead of the longstanding Bears M.O. of getting a new quarterback every few years, Chicago has made a long-term investment in the new franchise leader in passing yards, even if he’s had considerable problems staying healthy and beating the Packers.
To compare: Joe Flacco got $120.6 million with $52 guaranteed this past off-season. So Cutty must have become super elite this year getting outplayed by his backup and missing the playoffs.
Cutler was about to hit the open market in free agency in a few months in what would have likely been a fairly entertaining sweepstakes for his services. Had the Bears not made this deal, the question for them would have been whether they would apply the franchise tag to Cutler, or not even bother trying to sign him and hope that Josh McCown would have wanted to return. But now both of those are moot.
In other news, the Bears also reached long-term deals on Thursday with cornerback Tim Jennings and guard Matt Slauson, but those aren’t nearly as fun to mock.