Jay Cutler is being honest about his contract status with the Chicago Bears. The quarterback admits that injuries are certainly not helping his season as he plays out the final year of his current deal. While the quarterback could be poised to sign the next big contract extension, Cutler understands that may not happen after injuries have hampered his productivity.
While speaking on his radio show with ESPN 1000, Cutler said that his intentions were to remain in Chicago as long as possible and if that meant signing a franchise tag in the offseason then that was fine with him.
"I'm not gonna take anything personally," Cutler said. "If they want to franchise me, I'm gonna feel good about the situation we're in. We're gonna be in our second year of the offense with these guys. We're gonna be better. I'm gonna be better. So it's not personal. It's business."
There has been plenty of discussion regarding the future of Cutler in Chicago. The quarterback has yet to play a full season with the team and is once again sitting on the sideline with a clipboard in his hand after groin and ankle injuries have left him out of the game. The Bears have found quality in Josh McCown and with a coach like Marc Trestman, drafting a rookie would not be the worst thing in the world.
A franchise tag for quarterbacks is expected to be around $16.2 million in 2014. Cutler is earning $8.47 million this season. The tag would be a big hit against the salary cap, hurting the chances of signing any other big-named players in the future.
Cutler might be agreeing to sign a franchise tag, but that does not mean he will not rebel a little bit. He intends to send a little message if he does not get offered a long-term deal.
"Well, you just don't show up for a little while," Cutler said. "But everyone at some point comes back to work, right? I'm not just gonna not show up. I might be like, 'I'm gonna miss a few OTAs and go on an extra vacation.' But at some point, I'm gonna be back there."
Cutler really is not saying the right things in this interview. In three starts, backup quarterback McCown has completed 65.5 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns. With the quarterback guru of head coaches, Cutler does not want to start talking about hold outs. Trestman can turn a rookie into a franchise player in no time. To top things off, injuries are not working in the quarterback's favor. He promises despite the lack of playing time, he can still be a good player.
"It doesn't help," Cutler said. "I've thought about it vaguely. It obviously doesn't help the situation. It never does. In this business, availability is the No. 1 priority. That's what I tell some of these young guys. You can be a good player. You can have all these attributes."