Jay Cutler ‘comfortable’ playing out his contract in 2013Continue reading.
No extension is no problem for Cutler heading into 2013 season — ‘It’s going to work out’
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was unfazed by general manager Phil Emery’s pronouncement that he would not negotiate contract extensions for any players during the 2013 season. Cutler is in the final year of a five-year, $50 million contract he signed in 2009.
‘‘That’s fine with me,’’ Cutler said upon arriving at Bears training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais early Wednesday evening. ‘‘I haven’t really talked about any of my contracts in my career and I’m not really going to start now. We’ll play it out, and however it’s supposed to go, it’s going to work out.’’
The decision by Emery could work in Cutler’s favor if he has a big season under first-year head coach Marc Trestman, who, like Cutler’s first NFL head coach, Mike Shanahan, is an offense-oriented coach. The Ravens’ Joe Flacco parlayed a Super Bowl season into a six-year, $120 million contract. Cutler, 30, could be in that ballpark if he leads the Bears to a Super Bowl.
‘‘There’s some big contracts going around, so if you win and produce, you’re going to get paid,’’ Cutler said.
Cutler is one of several Bears regulars who will play the 2013 season on the final year of his contract. Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings, Devin Hester, Robbie Gould, Henry Melton (who was given the franchise tag), Major Wright, Corey Wootton and Roberto Garza are among the others.
‘‘New coaches, there’s a lot of things happening. There’s a lot of change,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘It doesn’t really matter what year you are in your contract I don’t think, you gotta still go out and prove yourself. You’ve got to play each and every week. You’ve got to be consistent and you’ve got to sustain that the whole season. Nothing’s really changed on that part.’’
While Trestman’s offense is expected to cater to Cutler’s strengths, this is the fourth offensive coordinator he has played for in the last five seasons. Cutler already is on record as saying it takes three years to learn this offense. But he might not have that much time. But he is confident he and his teammates can ‘‘grind it out’’ under Trestman.
“Just have to forget all the other systems and learn this one, so it takes time,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘I think we had a good minicamp, good OTAs. Guys were working hard at it, just not in the building, but outside the building. You could tell a lot they were studying at night. Just have to continue that over. We have a little bit more time on our hands now with meeting times with the new schedule. We just have to grind it out.”
The Bears are coming off a 10-6 season, so the playoffs are a legitimate goal.
“I think there’s pressure before every season,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘Everyone feels good about the spot they’re in with the start of the year. Obviously, with a new coach there’s a lot to learn on our part. But there’s a lot of room to be positive and to think we’re going to have a good season.”
Cutler praised Trestman, but acknowledged that ‘‘not everybody’’ has bought in to his system.
‘‘He’s got high expectations,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘He’s very smart. He knows offense, defense. He knows the direction he want to go into. I think with him being in the NFL for so long and being out of the NFL, when he got back in he got his chance he definitely wanted to do it his way and head in a direction he thought was right. Guys are buying in. Not everybody’s bought in, but that’s OK. We still have a lot of time. Hopefully by the time the first game rolls around, we’ve got everyone on the same page.’’
On the other hand, Cutler has run so many offenses in his seven-year NFL career, this one is not unfamiliar to him, which could make the transition easier.
‘‘They all have some similarities here and there,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘This is a little more West Coast of Bill Walsh. He [Trestman] was with Mike Shanahan for a little bit, so there are some similarities there. It’s good stuff. He knows what he’s doing offensively. It’s proven over many years that he can move the ball offensively. We just have to get everyone else on his level.’’