I know I just said it, but it bears repeating, Jay Cutler's new contract is a 7 year deal, for $126 million, with $54 million guaranteed. We haven't seen exactly how the money is spread out over the seven years, but it's reported that by March of 2015, he'll have received $38 million of the deal. It's also reported that the 1st three years of the contract will average $18 million per season. His annual salary ties him for 6th at his position.
Was he overpaid?
It depends on your definition of overpaid. Jay Cutler received what the market dictates an NFL quarterback should make. Is it ridiculous money? Yeah, but to ensure stability at the most critical position in sports, you do what you need to do.
As silly as it seems, he probably would heve receiver an even bigger deal had he reached an open market. The Tennessee Titans, Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, and Jacksonville Jaguars are all teams that may have gotten into a bidding war for the #1 QB on the open market.
Here are a few of the recent deals other quarterbacks signed:
When the Denver Broncos signed Peyton Manning in March of 2012, he received a 5 year, $96 million deal, that ended up having a $58 million guarantee.
In July of 2012, Drew Brees re-signed with the New Orleans Saints for 5 years and $100 million, with $60 million guaranteed.
In March of 2013 the Baltimore Ravens signed Joe Flacco to a 6 year, $120.6 million dollar deal with $52 million guaranteed.
Also in March, the Dallas Cowboys extended Tony Romo to the tune of 6 years and $108 million with $55 million in guaranteed money.
In April of 2013 the Green Bay Packers gave Aaron Rodgers a 5 year, $110 million contract extension with $62.5 million guaranteed.
In July of last year, the Atlanta Falcons extended Matt Ryan for 5 more years, and added $103.75 million with a $59 million guarantee.
Matthew Stafford also received an extension in July of 2013. The Detroit Lions gave him 3 more years and $53 million, which took his total in guarantees to $43 million.
That's an awful lot of money at the QB position, but that's what teams do.
Jay Cutler set a career high in passer rating in 2013 at 89.2, and in the nine games he started and finished he had a rating over 90 in seven of them and he was over 100 in four games. But it's the games he didn't finish or start that make some worry.
The injury question will dog Cutler until he can get through a 16 game season, something he hasn't done since 2009. He missed five games this season, one in 2012, six in 2011, and one in 2010. He's had concussions, a high ankle sprain, a strained groin, and a broken thumb in the last four years.
Would you consider him injury prone, or were they mostly fluke injuries?
Cutler also has only one playoff victory under his belt, but that's as much as or more than a few guys on the list above. He will ultimately be judged by championships, but even a Super Bowl victory won't be enough for some fans.
The Chicago Bears' offense grew by leaps and bounds this season under Marc Trestman. It just makes sense to allow the unit to continue it's ascension.
Is Jay Cutler a top 10 quarterback?
He's certainly paid like one.
Now he just has to go out and win games.
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