Jay Cutler’s new contract with the Chicago Bears which was reported as being for seven years and $126 million undoubtedly raised more than a few eyebrows from even the casual NFL fan, including veteran NFL writer Peter King who weighed in on the new deal in his latest column for MMQB.
“Let the debate commence: In exchange for not guaranteeing him a dime after the third season, and thus being able to cut him then, the Bears handed their incumbent quarterback (who has missed 12 games due to injury in the last three years) $54 million over the next three years. After that, the contract for the next four years is non-guaranteed, and he can be cut without a cap hit. Maybe it’s me. Seems excessive.”
Now remember, contracts are all about the guaranteed money so the seven years and 126 million are about as likely to happen as you or me vacationing on the moon, but $54 million over three years may seem a bit excessive for a quarterback who had fans clamoring for journeyman quarterback Josh McCown to start even when Cutler returned from his injuries this year.
The Bears had to pay market value for Cutler to keep the franchise’s all-time leading passer, so personally I don’t have any problem with the contract, but ultimately it won’t be a good deal if Cutler can’t lead the Bears back to the playoffs and to a Super Bowl.