Marshall says Cutler will be back with Bears

Jay Cutler is one of 28 Bears who are scheduled to become free agents in the off-season, but he’s not ready to address that situation yet.

“You’d love to predict the future,” Cutler said after posting a 103.8 passer rating, his seventh of 90.0 or higher in nine full games. “I’m not really going to get into what’s going to happen. It always works out how it’s supposed to.”

The Bears ran just 21 plays in the first half of their 33-28 loss Sunday, compared to the Packers’ 41. They went three-and-out twice in the first half and lost possession after four plays another time because of Alshon Jeffery’s fumble.

“Unfortunately I only got 45 plays,” Cutler said. “They controlled the clock well.”

Brandon Marshall, who had 6 catches for 74 yards and finished the season with 100 receptions for 1,295 yards and 12 touchdowns, including 1 vs. Green Bay, believes Cutler will be back running the Bears’ offense.

“Jay will be back,” Marshall said. “All those stories for the off-season, put that at the bottom. Just say ‘Brandon said Jay will be back.’ Just like I said Jay would be back from the groin injury (after missing just one game), Jay will be back.”

Wait til next year:

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall finished with exactly 100 receptions, the fifth time he’s had at least that many, tying him with Wes Welker and Andre Johnson for the most in NFL history.

Marshall, though, has never played in the postseason in his eight years in the league, leaving him momentarily despondent after Sunday’s loss.

“I laid there for a few seconds, and I knew that wasn’t a good look,” he said. “I thought of Ray Lewis, when he lost to the Patriots, and I thought about LeBron James, when he walked off the court in Orlando Arena and didn’t shake anyone’s hand.

“I just tried to figure out the best way to move forward as fast as possible. Ray Lewis picked himself up and put a smile on his face, and won the Super Bowl the next year.”

Return to sender:

Devin Hester’s 49-yard return early in the third quarter set up the Bears’ second touchdown, but he remains tied for first with Deion Sanders for the NFL record for return touchdowns with 19.

Hester wants to claim sole possession of the record as a Bear. He’ll be a free agent in March, but he wants to be back with the only NFL team he’s played for.

“I don’t want to go through the whole off-season not knowing where I’m going to be at,” he said. “I want to retire as a Bear. I put in too much hard work here. I’m pretty sure the fans want me back, so who knows?”

Filling in:

Rookie right tackle Jordan Mills, who started all 16 games, left after the Bears’ first possession with a foot injury and did not return. He was replaced by Eben Britton, who played in each of the final 12 games, usually as an extra offensive lineman, although he started four times as an extra tight end.

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Jay Cutler (6) warms up Sunday before an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Chicago. Associated Press
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