Earlier this month, Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery discussed the challenges of using the franchise tag on Jay Cutler. Those comments were taken as Emery saying that he did not want to use the franchise tag on the quarterback.
Emery elaborated on that and hopefully cleared it up by saying the franchise tag is still a possibility.
“I would say ‘disregard completely’ is an oversimplification of what the franchise tag isin relation to contracts and caps and player contracts overall,” Emery said in an appearance on WSCR radio in Chicago. “What I had said before was that just make sure when you look at the franchise tag [you know] what that means from a quarterback’s contract perspective and the amount of room and space that it eats up. It’s not necessarily a solution. It’s not the first thing we would think about. The first think we’d think about if we wanted to sign a player is a long-term contract. That fits better in our cap situation.”
Emery reiterated a lot of what he said in the Q&A, that he’d prefer a long-term contract to lower the cap hit. A franchise tag would set the price tag incredibly high for Cutler in one season, or a long term deal. They’re essentially hoping that the free agency market sets the amount at a lower price tag.
It is a gamble, but on Cutler’s end he has expressed a desire to stay with the Bears.
“I would like to stay in Chicago,” the quarterback said on WMVP-AM’s “The Jay Cutler Show,” via CSN Chicago. “I’d be surprised if they kind of broke up the group that we have on offense. I want to stay here … The longer that we can stay together as a group, the better we’re gonna be.”