It’s safe to say the Chicago Bears’ 2014 season was a train wreck and should be nailed in a wooden coffin and buried away for eternity. That being said, it’s over and can’t be taken back. The GM was fired, the head coach was fired and all the assistant coaches were fired. The players remain…. most of them.
Heading into 2015, Jay Cutler ($16.5m) will be the 11th highest paid QUARTERBACK in the NFL. Not the eleventh highest paid player, he will be the 18th highest paid player equivalent to the likes of Andre Johnson ($16m) and Haloti Ngata ($16m). Cutler will only be getting paid about $800,000 more than Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.
- Cutler signed a seven-year $126 million extension with Chicago in January, 2014.
- With 18 interceptions, Cutler tied Philip Rivers for the league lead last season.
- Cutler had a career high, 12 fumbles in 2014.
- He threw for the most yards (3,812) and touchdowns (28) in a single season, as a member of the Chicago Bears in 2014.
- Jay Cutler was the highest paid player in the NFL last season after the Bears finished 5-11, missing the playoffs for the seventh time in eight seasons.
All the Cutler haters, including myself, will say he led the league in interceptions twice with Chicago and hasn’t shown a winning pedigree his entire career – that’s a fact. Here’s another fact, when Peyton Manning got hurt in the second half of last season, new Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase pumped out 849 yards from undrafted rookie CJ Anderson with a heavy set running offense to accomodate. The results were 4.7 yards per carry for Anderson, Matt Forte only average 3.9 last season.
Point being, the entire organization has changed and the ‘culture’ is completely different. With a productive running game coupled with a run defense that doesn’t look like the Little Giants, Cutler is in a much better position to succeed moving forward, not to mention the millions of dollars it would cost for Chicago to get rid of him. According to Sporting News, it would cost $19.5 million to cut him before March 12th and upwards of $25-30 million after. Cutler is also guaranteed at least $10 million for 2016 after March 12th passes.
Would you rather have Cutler on your team paying him as the 11th best QB in the league for 2015, or would you rather pay upwards of $20+ million to get rid of him?
Unless someone is willing to trade for Cutler and accept 100% of his contract (lookin’ at you Tennessee), the Chicago Bears will most-likely have #6 at the helm for the next couple years. Considering Cutler’s trade value may be at the lowest point of his career, a trade is unlikely.
Even though I would be considered one of the “Jay Cutler Haters,” I still don’t think the NFL has seen his best football yet. Cutler’s long-term value, based on his projected salary for 2015 and 2016, makes him worth keeping in Chicago.