Should the Chicago Bears re-sign Jay Cutler or hand the keys to the offense to journeyman quarterback Josh McCown?
That was the question general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman were faced with at the end of the season, and it was a no-brainer based on the growth Cutler has made on and off the field according to Trestman.
“The number one thing from my standpoint is the way that he has invested in the Chicago Bears,” Trestman told Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune.” Jay has been emotionally and selflessly invested in ways that he wouldn’t talk about. But he really cares about this organization and every day he’s a very, very observant person and he’s a very proactive person in terms of inserting himself in all areas of this building to help this organization get better.”
Cutler’s physical attributes have never been up for debate as he possesses one of the strongest arms in the NFL and has the feet and mobility to make a number of throws on the run and outside of the pocket, but his intangibles have been criticized across the league.
His leadership skills have improved each year with the Bears since they acquired him from the Denver Broncos and his maturity after getting married and having two children has resulted in a new look Cutler and the Bears have seen the benefit.
“I have great respect for Jay’s football intelligence and his skillset. When we came in here, we knew he had the skillset,” Trestman said. “The issue was, ‘Could we work together on a daily basis?’ because we both love football and we want to help our football team. And the answer to that question was a clear yes.”
The faith was restored in the form of a seven-year extension worth as much as $126 million.