Jay Cutler Signs Extension

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler's signed a two-year extension to his deal that will keep him in Chicago through 2013. The deal includes $20 million in guaranteed money and about $30 million in new money.

Hat tip to NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora.

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45 comments, Last at 22 Oct 2009, 8:05pm

2 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

Lock him up long-term now so that they don't end up paying through the nose in uncapped years down the road? It might have something to do with his rookie contract status, but I'm no expert on that.

6 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

Carrying the bear's abysmal offense to respectability?

Face it, the O-line is old and decrepit, Forte had an aberration year in total yards last year because of his ridiculous amount of touches, the wide receivers are a joke, and the only real talent besides cutler is at the TE position, who Culter still seems a bit uncomfortable with.

10 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

Exactly. We have zero running game and the O-line is not giving him any time, yet we have a chance to win even when the defense can't hold a lead in the 4th. Cutler's carrying the Bears right now.

7 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

To answer you question: No.

But they are committed to him anyway - you can't, regardless of his production, let a guy that cost you 2 first-rounders hit the market after 1 or 2 years. Might as well sign him now, if you can take the cap-hit.

9 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

Have you watched him play? He's the only player keeping this team from having a Raiderseque offensive DVOA.

He's surrounded with little talent. No name WRs, marginally above avg. TEs and an indescribably bad O-line. He's has two guys in his face on a three step drops. He's being sacked by three man pass rushes. All which forces him to have "good control but no command" or whatever asine comment was made in Quick Reads yesterday.

He's a franchise QB in a league with too few to go around. You'd be out of your mind not to extend him?

28 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

"Have you watched him play? He's the only player keeping this team from having a Raiderseque offensive DVOA. "


I think there are probably 5+ teams in the NFL that have better offensive interior lineman on their practices squads than the Bears do starting.

The team is terrible.

5 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

Even if I hated him, I'd still sign him to a long term deal. He's got the talent, might as well keep it on the roster.

8 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

This doesn't really sound like a huge vote of confidence to me. Two years isn't that long, and if it's mostly just new money for his old contract then 30 million or so over 4 years isn't that much when elite guys have been making 10 mil per year.

13 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

Four years isn't that long to try and lock up a QB I would say that most teams seem to want to look at 6 years when they believe the guy is the franchise.

Although the way Rotoworld is talking about it seems like it's a much better contract 5 years 50 million. That's good but not stellar for a franchise QB.

30 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

Cutler and Bears didn't want to due a long term deal here. Cutler wanted to secure his $12 million roster bonus due 2011. Cutler lacked a great amount of leverage and this contract ends soon enough for him to get a super contract in 2013. The Bears want to see the impact of the new CBA before signing Cutler to that contract. However, this deal gives the Bears cost control for the next few years. Therefore, both sides created this interim deal.

If Cutler is healthy, I wouldn't be shocked if this deal is torn up in 2011 or 2012 once the new CBA is agreed upon.

12 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

Sad that pouty-face got his money. At least guys like Crabtree don't obfuscate their real financial demands behind condescending crap like "my coach doesn't respect me enough".

15 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

The two biggest problems with the Bears right now are the O-line and the WRs.

They're running mostly timing routes with the WRs, since they don't have the experience yet to be on the same page as Cutler on broken plays or option routes. Because of this, the WRs are being jammed at the line, breaking the timing component. This, coupled with the O-line's inability to pass pro, means Cutler's forced to scramble on 3-step-drop crosses and hitches.

The WRs' inability snowballs here because they have to know the best improvised routes in the coverage when the play breaks down. They don't, so Cutler is left guessing if he should throw it to the place an experienced receiver would know to go, or if he should just try guessing where in the hell his receivers are going to go. Half of his interceptions have been receivers starting an improvised route on a broken play, Cutler reading it, and then stopping or cutting off on some weird angle with no read on the ball in the air.

I hate to imagine what we'd do if we didn't have decent tight ends and scatbacks. Cutler is carrying a pretty bad offense right now.

19 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

Parts of the Bears offense are playing well but there are some bits which simply aren't. I would say for the most part the WRs are playing pretty well, far better than predicted although there are still some issues surrounding the sight reading of routes between the QB and the WRs. You are right that some of the INTs could have been avoided if the WRs step in front of the defenders but considering the lack of experience playing together and the fact that the defense is playing better than most expected shouldn't some of these balls have been thrown away. Take the Atlanta game if Cutler avoids the two picks and the Bears just come away with FGs they would probably have won the game. Thinking about it I can't really think of many times all year when Cutler read the field decided everyone is covered and threw the ball away. Yeah the running game is leaving them in long yardage but a punt is better than a pick.

Anyway you look at it thought the guy playing worst is Omiyale. He clearly is capable of throwing a block because there are times when he wipes out his man. The problem is that he clearly has very little experience working in combination with other linemen which is rather important when playing guard. At times he has no idea who to block, ends up blocking nobody and Forte gets annihilated in the backfield. Beekman played better than that last year and should be given the chance to do so again.

The next guy on my list would be Jason McKie. His run blocking has deteriorated badly to the point that he now just runs up to the hole and dives into the defender with his head down making no attempt to use his hands to engage and then steer the defender. He has been fairly ordinary when pass blocking too sometimes whiffing pretty badly which leaves the question of what he does well. The answer unfortunately is not a lot. There isn't a replacement on the roster though (especially after they let Gaines go) so I am not sure how to relieve the problem. Not using a fullback would be start as there is little point deploying a lead blocker who can't lead block and the Bears have a great stable of TEs.

I don't really buy that the WRs or the QB is the problem, I just don't think this team blocks well enough. Taking the two worst performers off the field would be a start and might let the other players demostrate that they can actually play. If they keep playing Omiyale and McKie then they will never find out.

16 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

As a Bears fan I have to say that I am pleased that they signed him to an extension. I have to say that I am in the minority when it comes to assessing the Bears offensive performance. To me the biggest problem the Bears have on offense is that very inconsistent/poor offensive line. The inability to even just hold it's position on running plays has caused Matt Forte to run with very little confidence. Almost as if he expects to get hit a second after getting the handoff. The pass blocking has regressed from last year as well.

Personally, I am fairly pleased with the recievers and tight ends. Bennett, Hester and Knox seem to make the catches they are supposed to make and Knox in particular seems to make difficult catches in traffic. So I don't share all the " the Bears recievers suck " opinion. The Bears are an offensive line away from being a very good team.

18 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

If Orlando Pace had returned to form the bears would probably have 2 more wins this season.

But no one expected that except Jerry Angelo, who seems to hate drafting.

22 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

I can't agree with that, Pace has actually played pretty well. Dulmervil whipped him in the preseason (but that has been happening to a lot of OTs this year) but for the most part he has been reliable and is one of the better and more consistent blockers in the run game. There was a lot of moaning about phantom holding calls but I put that down to people not really knowing what constitutes holding as opposed to him repeatedly getting away with it.

23 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

I'd like to see Pace and Williams switch tackle positions, though I don't think it's possible, given that Pace signed on to play LT (it may be written into his contract, I don't know). Pace has had plenty of problems with speed rushers, while Williams seems to be getting stronger every game.

20 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

As spotty as the pass protection has been this year it is a seas change from last year (can you not remember John 'the human turnstile' St Clair). He has been replaced as the donkey on the line by Frank 'quick who am I supposed to block?' Omiyale. Last game every time the play got screwed you would look at the replay and see Omiyale watching as the guy he was supposed to block tackled Forte.

Free Josh Beekman!!!

21 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

The two biggest deficits the Bears O are forced to overcome are first Ron Turner's completely unimaginative playbook and then the unreliable offensive line.

I've been giving RT the benefit of the doubt for awhile since he's had guys like Rex and Orton and washed-up receivers and washed-up linemen, but the pieces are there now to get stuff done. Not every player is elite, but there is plenty there now to get more done. I'm not looking for a gimmick-heavy offense, but there's ZERO creativity or misdirection in his playbook and/or playcalling. The D always seems to know what's coming. How can you succeed like that? If RT can't turn it around by the end of the season, he has to go. Has to!

24 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

I'm not a huge fan of Turner, but what specifically is wrong with the playcalling? Without being able to break down film and see just what routes are being run, I can't fault Turner too much.

The run game, however, leaves much to be desired. Turner seems very slow to adapt when defenses are stuffing certain runs, and calls them much too long.

26 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

Ron Turner's playcalling seems to come under fire quite often but for the life of me I don't understand why. First off when fans say that a off coordinators playbook if " unimaginative " how do they know?? What constitutes an " imaginative " offense? The Indianapolis Colts do not run an especially " imaginative " offense but they execute it very well. If Ron Turner can get a decent offensive line I think his playcalling would get better since on run plays defensive players would not meet Matt Forte 2 yards deep in the backfield and on pass plays Jay Cutler would not be forced to scramble any time he takes more than a 2 step drop.

27 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

My thoughts on Turner is that he is an average OC.

I actually think his playbook is good. The passing plays seem well designed, he was getting Rashied Davis and Marty Booker open. Now, he's scheme does rely on the QB stretching the defense vertically, which makes Cutler a great fit, but not Orton. That's that a valid critism that he couldn't adapt to Orton's weaknesses.

Also, we've only had an average or better o-line twice, 2005 and 2006. That really makes the coordinator look bad.

He's team also seems generally well prepared, the Packer's game this year not-withstanding. Turner and Drake (the receiver coach) have taught Devin Hester to play receiver in 3 years, and have Johnny Knox playing well as a rookie.

Now my main concern, is lack of feel for play calling. He when something works he likes to go to it too often. Which sometimes makes him look like a genius, the Thomas Jones TD drive against the Saints in the NFC championship game, having Hester run pretty much just smoke and go routes against the Packers. However, it often is more like 8 yard run on 1st down, 6 yard run on 2nd down, stuff, stuff, incomplete pass, punt. Turner also doesn't mix things up well when the offense is getting bogged down. When teams are shutting us down and we're struggling is when you break out the direct snaps to Hester, not when things are going well. I would like to see some trick plays too, flea-flickers and reverse WR passes, but that's a minor criticism.

29 Turner's Plays

There is zero misdirection in his play calling at all. The Colts run a stretch play, then they run it as play action, then they run it with a naked bootleg. Defenses don't know what to honor. It keeps the line, the LBs and the secondary all half a step less aggressive and that definitely matters. Any other team I see lineman blocking in a certain direction, say to the left and if it's jammed there's a cutback lane for the back. When it's the Bears, there's no action one way or another to begin with, just a blob right in the middle for no one to run. Cutler's agile, but it's all straight drop back and a collapsed pocket. Kreutz is overrated so let Cutler take deeper drops so he doesn't get pressure after half a second. There's no action in one direction and roll to the other. If it's third and long, it's a screen to Forte to the left. Throw the fade then throw it again. There's no inside trapping to open a hole. There are no draws out of the shotgun (unless it's a give up play). There have been maybe 5 plays all season where I've seen Cutler with some time and they've all been minor misdirection plays like selling the action to one side and then come back the other way and I'm thinking LOOK AT HOW MUCH TIME THAT GAVE HIM. WHY AREN'T YOU DOING THAT MORE OFTEN RON!?!? The trickiest thing they do is a WR screen, except they do it about 5 times a game so it's not tricky and rarely gains more than 5 yards. The TE up the seam was bread and butter for them last year. I can't even recall them hitting that play once this year. Cutler has a strong arm, accuracy and speedy players on the outside, but the Bears aren't even testing defenses deep except occasionally. Make them fear those plays and open things up. I think I saw a crossing pattern once all season and Hester had no one within ten yards of him. How about a few more crossing patterns?

How many examples of unimaginative Turner play-calling was that? I will admit that many things that are being called the players just aren't executing well enough. Every play at least one lineman is getting beat. Play blown up. Or a receivers not getting separation. Nowhere to throw. But if that's the case, try some other stuff. You can't let the D feel comfortable they know what's coming. You have to keep them guessing, otherwise they'll just keep teeing off, which is what's happening. Turner is not putting his offense in the best positions to succeed.

By the way, as much as I strongly feel Turner is holding this offense back, he did not lose the Falcons game in the least. All the Bears had to do was not turn the ball over twice inside the 10. If they simply failed on the drives and kicked FGs instead turning it over, it would have been 21-20 when they were driving at the end of the game and all they would have needed was another Gould FG, and they were well within range, to win.

31 Re: Turner's Plays

In reply to by JasonG (not verified)

I think I saw a crossing pattern once all season and Hester had no one within ten yards of him. How about a few more crossing patterns?

I agree with this. It seems every pass play is thrown outside the numbers, as if every drive is a two-minute drill and the receiver needs to get out of bounds. There's very little in the middle of the field at all.

The other night against ATL especially, I was wondering whatever happened to the slant route to Hester. It was practically the only pass route that Orton ever got consistent yardage out of (from his WRs, at least), but now it's disappeared altogether. Cutler was getting hassled all night long, and there was never an adjustment by Turner to shorter routes that would let him get the ball out quicker.

32 Re: Turner's Plays

In reply to by strannix (not verified)

I love the slant, and I wished Turner used it more, but it has been there.

The tying touchdown against the Steelers was a slant to Knox.

The winning touchdown against the Seahawks was a slant to Hester.

On the final possession last night, Cutler threw a slant to an open Knox, which would have been a touchdown had a lineman (Babineaux?) knocked it down.

33 Re: Turner's Plays

In reply to by JasonG (not verified)

To me the biggest reason misdirection plays are successful is because the basic plays that they are being run off of ( ie the Colts stretch play then the Colts play action off the stretch ) are not working. If you cannot run the football well for instance play action off the run will be less effective. At least with well coached defenses. I agree with the concept of slowing down the defense and making them a hair slower but until they get consistency out of there basic staple plays its going to be tough to do anything else. The Bears need to fix that offensive line before they can go deep into that playbook.

34 Re: Turner's Plays

In reply to by ChiJeff (not verified)

Obviously if your straightforward plays are working you are in better shape than not, but you can still get all the action going in one direction and come back the other way even if everything is failing. The play I mentioned where Cutler had no one near him for once, the running game wasn't working at all at that point. The misdirection still worked.

You can sell everything to the left and come back right even if you've pulled to the left 20 times unsuccessfully. That's the thing with Turner; he'll get all the action going to the left and guess where the ball is going? Left. Even after it's failed 19 times already. Then all the action to the right and guess where the ball is going? Right. Rinse. Repeat. It's nauseating.

35 Re: Turner's Plays

In reply to by JasonG (not verified)

By the way, answer me this. In just one offseason of installing his offense, why is McDaniels able to get more out of Orton than Turner is out of Cutler? The line is better, but THAT MUCH so? Forte, Olsen, Hester, Bennett, Knox, Cutler vs. Orton, Marshall and Royal. Which group should be winning the offensive comparison? McDaniels stuff might be short, but you only need 10 yards in 3 (most of the time) plays. And he's putting guys in position to pick up consistent yards. The formations, the route combinations, the blocking schemes, plays are successful even with Orton as the trigger man. What's Turner's excuse? He's simply not doing what others could do with this group of talent.

36 Re: Turner's Plays

In reply to by JasonG (not verified)

To address this specific post: you're really, really glossing over the effect of the offensive line. The Bears' line is terrible. How many times have you seen Cutler able to take a five step drop without having to dodge a rusher?

Meanwhile, Orton gets a lot of time in the pocket in Denver. He's not a bad quarterback; on the contrary, he's above average, if not flat-out good.

Regarding Turner, ChiJeff is right, to an extent. You don't need to have a surprising offense to succeed. I will give you that I wish the Bears ran more counter run plays; Turner's last touchdown for Atlanta on Sunday was beautiful in my eyes.

37 Re: Turner's Plays

In reply to by Eddo

The run blocking has been terrible. The pass blocking has merely been below average. I'm not disagreeing with you, in fact, I think your point supports mine. Pace and Williams (the tackles) have been the best pass blockers. It's the interior, specifically Kreutz and Omiyale that have been atrocious. The coach can't help this? He can't call for wider splits? He can't call a 7-step drop and get Cutler as far away from those two as possible and also open wider lanes to either throw or step up in? He can't move the pocket around more to get Cutler on the edge with some breathing room?

I've mentioned this already. I'm not absolving the players. They need to execute their assignments better no question. But Turner makes no adjustments. He just keeps running the same failing plays as if the outcome will magically improve. Conservative, not creative, predictable. These have been RT hallmarks for years. I thought things would be different this year with improved personnel all around this offense. Remember even if this line is bad, it's MUCH better than last year's. Plus ALL the skill positions are either a year more experienced or simply upgraded. So why is the offense suffering from the same issues as always? Maybe it's the man architecting and running it.

38 Re: Turner's Plays

In reply to by JasonG (not verified)

No the line is worse than last year. Pace has been a small upgrade on St Clair but that is undone by Omiyale being worthless 80% of the time. The overall result is that in pass pro, we're slightly worse than last year, and in run blocking we've gone from mediocre/bad to down right terrible.

39 Re: Turner's Plays

In reply to by JasonG (not verified)

I disagree that the line is better than last year but everything else is spot on.

Seems like Ron Turner is viewed as a decent offensive coordinator who has always had bad talent by most people except for educated Bear fans. He is arguably the most incompetent coordinator in the entire league. Just off the top of my head he has had 9 seasons (in 2 stints) as OC of the Bears and has ranked in the top half of the league only once. That's 8 seasons of bad offenses. Inexcusable.

Now Turner has a QB who can make all the throws and is 10 times more talented than any QB he has had before and we still rank 25th in DVOA. Our WRs may be playing better than expected but this is more due to Cutler than anything. Turner has so many weapons at his disposal outside of the WR position: Olsen, Clark, Forte, Wolfe yet all we see is his same old offense which has failed all bar 1 season in his time as Bears offensive coordinator.

Thankfully he is in the final year of his contract and he should be gone at the end of the year.

40 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

Sounds like anyone who's actually been watching the Bears play thinks Cutler has been doing a great job with a bad offensive line. People who haven't watch him play are looking at his stats and then letting their emotions from the preseason dictate their assessment of his play.

Sound right?

41 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

Sounds right to me. I think Cutler's been impressive, considering he has to work with:

- receivers who are average, at best, woefully inexperienced, at worst;
- an offensive line that is well below average, especially on his blind side;
- an offensive coordinator that is average, at best, predictable at worst.

42 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

These two comments (40 and 41) are nearly exactly right. I would only stop just short of saying Cutler's played great. He's been good, but he's made his mistakes, too. Maybe if his coordinator and o-line were better, many of those mistakes wouldn't have been forced.

Obviously we know about a number of interceptions and particularly in the first game, it's tough to say who was really at fault because it sure seemed his receivers didn't help him at all on 3 of them. Then in the Atlanta game he airmailed one over Olsen straight to the safety. It happens, but clearly he's not flawless. He's backpedaling a lot, but we can understand why. On the one high throw to Bennett in the Seattle game, he missed a wide open Hester on the other side. I haven't really seen any evidence of him diagnosing defenses pre-snap and getting into good plays or making teams pay when a blitz is coming.

Then again he's made a number of plays, throws and drives that Bears fans simply haven't seen from a QB in decades, so for now Cutler's awesome to them/us, but even though he's been the best performer, just like everyone on the offensive side, he could be doing better, too.

43 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

I agree with most of this. He hasn't been great, but he's been good. I say "impressive" because he's been good despite the team around him.

A couple points, though:

Backpedaling: NFL Network's matchup show did a nice job a few weeks ago showing how Cutler can backpedal or throw on the run and still be effective due to his extremely strong and accurate arm. Obviously, not backpedaling is better than doing so, but it's not the same as when Grossman would backpedal and play like crap.

Pre-snap reads and blitzing: This is really hard to judge based on watching games on TV, so I can't really comment. However, I just read somewhere that Cutler has actually been more effective against the blitz than against just four rushers. This leads me to infer that he is making good reads.

44 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

Yes, he's done ok with backpedaling and with the blitz, but it's just ok and I'm concerned it won't last. Relying on arm strength and developing habits that worsen your mechanics are a bad thing. Eventually, you pay the price even if you don't pay as steep a price as a Rex does. The first pick against Atlanta he was backing away from pressure, so there you go.

The blitz pick ups have all been 5 yard hot reads and maybe with what he has, it's the best he can do, but that doesn't scare defenses out of bringing the house if the worst case for them is a 5 yard gain. I don't see him changing plays. I don't see him orchestrating a protection change or a route change (other than a quick slant). Maybe this is overly critical of him that he doesn't do the Peyton pre-snap chess game dance every single play (maybe he's not 100% with the playbook, maybe the coach tied his hands in terms of audibling, maybe there aren't better plays to call, maybe he simply can't trust his protection to really change things up), but defenses can't defend everything and at least once in awhile you want to see your QB, especially if he's a franchise QB, really take advantage of a D when it exposes itself. I could certainly be wrong on this issue, but by my eyes, I just haven't seen him even engaging in, never mind winning, any chess matches against opposing defenses.

45 Re: Jay Cutler Signs Extension

I would argue that the Knox TD last week was a blitz read. Cutler saw single high and knew that neither the safety or the corner were going to beat Knox to the corner of the endzone. Of course the same combo provided an example of what you mean on the third and nine play where Knox made the correct blitz read and then didn't try to run after the catch and ended up three yards short of the first down, I would put that down to a rookie error if that wasn't a terrible play in college, high school and pop warner football.

As for the pre-snap chess match stuff, I know what you mean. I think they send the QB out with a load of passing plays expecting him to change to a run if he gets a look he likes but he likes to throw the ball and doesn't bother at first and then when he does he isn't very subtle about it. I think sometimes Cutler would be better not second guessing stuff. All defenses have to do to get eight in the box on a running play is initially line up with two deep safeties and then wait for Cutler to audible to a run. Once he changes the play creep a safety into the box and hey presto, an eight man front when you know it is a running play. Shouldn't some of this stuff have been sorted out in a meeting mid week. Then again that is the impression I get of a lot of the Bears offense this year, too many mistakes that should have been coached out of the players which I guess would be on Ron Turner. In his defense his system is apperently one of the most complicated in the league (although I know it doesn't look it, it has more reads for more players than almost any other - or so I have read) and relies on running plays that make constant adjustments to the defense so I can see how having so many new faces playing together can screw things up. A question that does come up is, why bother having such complicated ways of trying to do simple things is a good idea with so many new faces?