Phil Emery


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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Matt Forte Head shot

Our mothers are still right…playing ‘hard-to-get’ works wonders when you’ve got the goods.   Just ask Matt Forte.  The year-long contract saga between Bear’s star Running Back and the Chicago Bears finally came to an end yesterday right in the nick of time.  With a 3:00PM deadline looming the two sides agreed to a 4-year contract extension that will pay Forte a reported $32 million with $18 million guaranteed. 

What You Need to Know: 

  • This is big news coming out of the Bears camp as Forte is hands-down, no rx the best offensive player on the team and the #1 ball-carrier for the Bears. In the 2011 season, health Matt Forte led the entire NFL in rushing yards before he went down on December 4th with a season-ending knee injury.  Bears QB, capsule Jay Cutler was injured the following week and the Bears season quickly spiraled out of control.   After starting the season 7-3 the Bears finished at 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the 4th time in 5 years after getting to the NFC Title game the year before.

    Matt Forte

  • Forte and his agent were holding out for a bigger and longer contract that would lock him in for 4 years and pay him the equivalency of what top NFL running backs are making.  Prior to yesterday, Forte had a “franchise tag” agreement with the Bears for $7.74 million to play in 2012.  Essentially, a ‘franchise tag’ means the Bears lock Forte with guaranteed money for the upcoming season only and forbid him from talking to other teams while they figure out what they want to do next.
  • The details of Forte’s contract have not been confirmed yet, but sources say it is $32 million over 4 years with $18 million guaranteed.  What does that mean?  Most contracts are paid out over time with the bulk of the money coming in the last few years of the contract.  When there is ‘guaranteed’ money, that money will be paid to the player regardless of whether he is traded in the future before his contract expires, meaning the player’s new team would have to pick up the tab.
  • With the Forte contract now wrapped up, the Bears should be in a great position to make a deep run in the NFC North and compete against the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions.  The Bears made big off-season changes and beefed up their offensive weapons by adding new wide receiver, Brandon Marshall, additional running back Michael Bush as well as a solid back-up QB with Jason Campbell.

    Bears GM, Phil Emery

Your Take Away Piece:  “Thank God!  The Bears were smart to pay Forte – he is the most deserving player on the roster and the biggest impact-player the Bears have.  This sends a positive message to the entire team that new Bears GM, Phil Emery, knows the value of his players.”

What’s Next:  Bears Training Camp begins the last week of July in Bourbonnais and Matt Forte will be there ready to go.  Watch for our Training Camp preview next week.

 

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