BOURBONNAIS — Bears general manager Phil Emery's Wednesday declaration that there will be no contract extensions given during the season affects Jay Cutler more than anyone, what with the price that franchise quarterbacks demand these days.
But the 30-year-old Cutler appears unaffected as he approaches the final year of his current deal, his fifth as a Bear.
“It's fine with me,” Cutler said, minutes after arriving early Wednesday night at Olivet Nazarene. “I haven't really talked about any of my contracts in my career, and I'm not going to start now.
“I'll play it out and however it's supposed to go it's going to work out.”
In his first four years with the Bears, Cutler has been brilliant, horribly disappointing, and everything in between.
His passer rating has hovered right around mediocre every season. He had a low of 76.8 in 2009, his first season as a Bear, and a high of 86.7 in 2011, when he missed the final six games with a fractured wrist.
His composite passer rating as a Bear is 81.9 with 82 touchdowns and 63 interceptions.
New offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh would be the fourth one Cutler has played under as a Bear. But new head coach Marc Trestman is considered a quarterback guru and has a track record of success in both the NFL and Canadian Football League.
“There's a lot of things happening, a lot of change,” Cutler said. “It doesn't really matter what year you are in in your contract, you still have to go out and prove yourself, you have to play each and every week, and you have to sustain that for a whole season.”
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco found himself in a situation similar to Cutler's a year ago, and he parlayed a Super Bowl title into a six-year, $120.6 million deal.
“There are some big contracts going around,” Cutler said. “If you win and produce, you're going to get paid.”
Cutler said there were no off-season negations on a new deal.
“We haven't spoken,” he said. “If we had, I probably wouldn't tell you anyway. We'll see what happens in the future.”
Asked if he could have received an extension as a gift for his recent wedding, Cutler said, “It was not in my wedding gifts. Maybe we haven't gotten it yet. You have a year to give a gift, right? Maybe they're just holding on to it.”
With the off-season additions of Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod, standout tight end Martellus Bennett and starting guard Matt Slauson, the common notion is that there is more pressure than ever on Cutler.
This probably is the strongest supporting cast he has had as a Bear.
“There's pressure before every season,” he said. “Everyone feels good about the spot they're in, but obviously with a new coach there's a lot to learn on our part.
“But there are a lot of reasons to be positive and think we're going to have a good season.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.