The Chicago Bears quietly have one of the bigger story lines this offseason as quarterback Jay Cutler is slowly rolling toward free agency. The Bears were exploring the idea of giving Cutler an extension before new head coach Marc Trestman was brought to town.
Sources said the team previously discussed giving Cutler a long-term deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 million per season. But that was before Marc Trestman took over as head coach. Cutler is due to make $8.97 million this season.
If Cutler performs well, his contract demands might be high. Such a scenario might entice the Bears to use the franchise tag on him next season at a rate expected to be around $15 million for one year. It would be a more likely option than franchising Melton for a second straight season, at a cost of $10.14 million in 2014.
The Spin: Ouch. You’d think Cutler is above the list of quarterbacks who could get replaced when a new coach comes in. Not to say Cutler is in danger of being replaced, but it has to be a tough pill to swallow if you’re Cutler.
Cutler is now going to have to prove to his new boss he is worth the money. We have a feeling he’ll do well enough to merit an extension, but it could be a telling sign that all contract extension talks were halted once a new head coach came to town.
Only time will tell.
Follow me on Twitter for more NFL news and analysis @Chris_Roling