contract extension


With his contract up at the end of the 2013 season, unhealthy it was a make it or break it year for Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, prostate  and despite Cutler’s injuries and inability to take the team to the post season, the Bears front office has made it clear that #6 isn’t going anywhere this offseason.

The Bears announced yesterday that they had inked the controversial Chicago QB to a new 7-year contract that will keep Cutler a Bear until 2020. Although financial terms to the deal were not specifically released, it is being said that his contract includes $50 million in guaranteed money…not bad for a sub-par QB who hasn’t led the Bears to a Super Bowl in his five seasons, is 39-28 in 67 starts, and ended this season with a measly 8-8 record.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the deal and also take a look at how teammates, fans and the press are responding to this generous deal.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • Cutler ended the season with 2,621 yards passing, a 63.1 completion percentage, 19 touchdowns and an 89.2 passer rating. Those stats are a definite improvement from years prior but, in my opinion, they aren’t deserving of a 7-year contract extension. With a new head coach, who seems to work well with Cutler, and weapons like Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall, I knew upper management would decide to give Cutty more time in Chicago but as I touched on earlier, I didn’t foresee such a lucrative deal being put on the table. However, the decision is very important to their salary cap, so it makes sense that they made it so quickly.

    Kyle Long responds to Cutler Skeptic

  • Caption read: “BOOM…JAY 7 for 126…Congrats now let’s go Win”

    Twitter is abuzz with reactions to this big decision. Cutler’s teammates seem to be pleased with the contract extension, namely Brandon Marshall, who’s been playing with No. 6 since college. Right after the deal was announced, Marshall took to social media to express his excitement. Even rookie Kyle Long defended his QB. I can’t say that I’ve seen the same reaction from fans though. Many share my belief that the deal is too generous, others have said it’s ridiculous that he’s even coming back and there’s even a few who think backup QB Josh McCown, should have snagged Cutty’s spot. However, the impression I have gotten from the press, is that they agree with keeping the QB around, some citing that it’s just easier than searching for a new franchise QB, and others saying he is just too talented to let go. Bulls reporter Nick Friedell poses an important question below…what’s your response, ladies?

WHAT’S NEXT:

Marc Trestman and Phil Emery, Photo Credit- Jose M. Osorio/ Chicago Tribune

With new Cutler’s contract, the offense is pretty much set but you should expect GM Phil Emery and Coach Marc Trestman to be making a whole lot of changes on Chicago’s defense. So far this off season CB Tim Jennings (4-year deal) and OL Matt Slauson (4-year deal) are the only other Bears’ who have received contraction extensions – both were announced yesterday with Cutler’s extension. There are 25 more players on the Bears’ roster who have contracts scheduled to expire on March 11, including seven first-stringers on a defense that finished last place in the NFL in yards allowed per play (sigh). Veteran guys like Devin Hester and Charles Tillman are on that long list. Going into the 2014 NFL Draft, Chicago will have the 14th overall pick and from Emery’s quote below, you can see that their goal is clear.

“I will just tell you we’re going to be a younger defense. The draft will be focused in that area…Defensively, it was not about, is it D-line, linebacker, safety…it’s about finding the best playmakers, the guys that can make a dynamic difference to our defense.”

Love or hate the Bears decision, one thing is for sure – this team will look much different next season when the Bears take the field. We can expect many changes to the roster this offseason, let’s just hope they are all for the best.

It has been a pleasure chatting about the Bears with all of you this season and hopefully by this time next year, Chicago will still be fighting their way through playoffs. And as always, Bear down, sports divas!

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Here we go ladies and gents! The 2012-2013 Bulls season is officially in session! It was a  packed house at the United Center Wednesday night as the Bulls kicked off their season by defeating the Sacramento Kings 93-87. It wasn’t pretty, some of it was down right ugly, but the Bulls toughed it out and started the season 1-0.

Fans are going to have to adapt to this new type of play since a particular super-star talent has been sidelined. Chicago will be focused on their chemistry as one solid unit – remember there is no “I” in team. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of the home opener.

Noah & Hinrich defend Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins (AP)

What You Need to Know

  • This may very well be the year of Jo-No. Joakim Noah was a monster last night and emerged as a true offensive threat for the Bulls this season. Noah led the team with 23 points, 10 rebounds, three blocked shots, and a career-high of five steals. Can I have some more sir? If Noah can continue to play this effectively on offense, the Bulls may be able to pull off some big wins this season.
  • Defensively the team played very well as a unit forcing plenty of Sacramento turnovers; Coach Thibodeau has worked his magic. However, this was countered by allowing too many offensive turnovers. What’s the point of stealing the ball when you’re going to give it right back?
  • The Bulls definitely have some kinks to work out, but every player impacted the team win. NBA vet Rip Hamilton (19 points) was relentless and looked back to his old form – ready to make an impact this season. Carlos Boozer (18 points, eight rebounds) was dependable down the stretch, Luol Deng struggled with his shot, but made a solid impact on defense, and Kirk Hinrich (7 assists) started the game despite his groin injury.
  • Taj Gibson had 4 solid blocks off the bench tonight, but seemed a bit distracted offensively. Rest assured, the Bulls signed a $38 million contract extension with Gibson after the game. Expect to see way more focus and productivity out of the big guy now that GIbson knows he can call Chicago home for another 4 years.
  • The Kings fought a hard battle causing the lead to shimmy between Chicago and Sacramento throughout the game until the last few seconds. Fourth-year guard Tyreke Evans (former Rookie of the Year) had 21 points and eight rebounds, starting center DeMarcus Cousins had 14 points, while Marcus Thornton lit things up off the bench with 15 points.

Your Take Away Piece

“No need to put things lightly, this season is going to be a challenge for the Bulls. Knowing they’ll be forced to play without their superstar Derrick Rose for the majority of the season really changes up the dynamic of the team. They no longer work around one player as the key figure offensively, rather they’ll need to keep up the cohesive team effort. Every game the Bulls will need multiple players in double digits – it’s a lot to ask, but it’s also not impossible. Otherwise they’ll find themselves treading water until Rose’s return.”

What’s Next

Game two is right around the corner as the Bulls are eastern bound to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers this Friday at 6:30 PM. It’s CSN Chicago’s first Bulls broadcast and we know you’ve missed the colorful commentary from Stacey King and the play-by-play from Neil Funk just as much as we have. Things might get rough this year, but don’t even consider sitting this season out and jumping back on the bandwagon once Derrick Rose returns. There’s a lot of talent left on the Bulls and plenty of basketball to be played!

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