Chicago Sun-Times

Happy meal for Cutler: Manning deal raises stakes for QB pay

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill.--Talk about a happy meal.

If Jay Cutler caught wind of the word coming out of New York--Eli Manning is on the verge of locking down a $97.5 million contract extension that will make him the highest-paid quarterback in league history in terms of average annual pay--then his Wednesday morning got off to a great start.

Cutler was in the dining hall on the campus of Olivet Nazarene when the story hit. Manning will get a six-year extension that includes $35 million guaranteed. Pro Football Talk reports that when you factor in the $9.4 million Manning was already set to receive this season, the new pact will come out to $15.2 million annually for the Super Bowl XLIII XLII MVP.

Cutler is going to be happy, first of all, because players love seeing other players get paid. It's the old theory that high tide raises all ships. Well, high QB contracts raise all QB contracts. Cutler probably isn't next in line either. Like Manning, San Diego's Philip Rivers is going into the final year of his deal. Tom Brady has probably been under paid in New England too.

The Bears have Cutler under contract for three more seasons. He has a $12 million roster bonus in 2011, and will almost surely have a new deal by then. The team has an abundance of room under the salary cap right now--more than $20 million--but general manager Jerry Angelo said he's in no hurry to get a deal done. His point is that hurrying to extend Cutler long term--think five new years--isn't going to save the organization any money. Bus Cook, Cutler's agent, isn't going to give the Bears a discount if they strike a deal tomorrow or next summer. Maybe. But if landmark quarterback contracts continue to happen, and if Cutler guides the Bears on the kind of season the team is hoping for, the price sure might go up. Right?

*** Practice will be at noon today and we'll have some reports then.

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6 Comments

Conceiving of anyone worth that much money is almost impossible. Don't I remember a few years ago that the talk of the town was that Eli was a horrible mistake in the draft and trade of his signing? I wonder what Grossman would have been offered if he and the Bears had beaten the other Manning brother in the Super Bowl.Urlacher got a big boost for holding out after a mediocre year. The strange rationales for salaries of pro players boggles the mind.

Hooray for stroke face. But maybe someonce can explain how the highest paid QB in the leauge is on a team where the defense (especialy the pass rush) and run game are the strongest part of the Giants and the passing game takes a back seat? Tom Brady, Peyton, Carson Palmer, Drew Brees, Kurt Warner...theyre all in pass oriented offenses, they make there offenses go. I undersrand he has a ring and was superbowl MVP but he wasnt the one putting ther pressure on Brady and disrupting his timing.

Cutler will probably get his big payday in a year or two but write nowe it makes no sense to do anything with him. I know Chicago expect a lot of big things from him but there's no use in jumping the gun when he's stil under contract for a three more years. Lets see what he does frist as a Bear.

Oh yeah tommorow I'm having another summer pool party. It's a going to be awesome. Why don't you come by and join us Brando? You can bring your sister-mother-wife or whatever you call it and well all have a good time! Whats that? You don't tknow where to find me? Just ask anybody in Skokie where the gnarlyest pool party in Illinois is and they'll point in the right direction. Oh you can't make it? Maybe you can send one of your fake personas in your place like crap-ton/tripper/moolader/Gay. I'm sure theyll do it they got more guts then you anyway pal.

Not bad for a kid that was bordering on being run out of town prior to the SB run for the Giants. But if you take a look at his QB class, and then Cutler's, the results so far are not even close. Manning and Roethlisberger have Super Bowl rings, and Rivers has been in the playoffs virtually every year. JP Losman and Matt Schaub are the only other guys of note from that class. But two out of the three first rounders have rings, and the third has been on a SB favorite squad for the last couple of years.

Vince Young is in a battle with frickin' Patrick Ramsey for the BACKUP job in Tennessee, and Leinart is battling Brian St. Pierre for the same spot in AZ. Cutler is the only one from his class that is starting without question. The only other guys from that class that have a chance to start this year are Kellen Clemons and Tarvaris Jackson. Cutler is the only chance to salvage any success out of that QB class in my opinion.
I would offer him 15% below Eli's deal, and see if he bites. 6 years, $83 million is not a bad offer for a guy who doesn't have any playoff experience. $13 mil per year is a solid number for a franchise QB, and that would get his deal locked up for the long term. Does anyone out there really think he isn't going to work out as our QB of the future? Why not extend his deal beyond 2011, and get him locked up for the bulk of his career? We are only going to see his price go up, and if the Bears defense plays like 2005/2006, and not like 2007-2008, we have a legitimate shot in the NFC of getting deep into the playoffs, which will also drive the price up on Cutler. He has enough weapons to be very good this year, and just needs the defense to hold up their end.

I was watching espn as I all ways do and one of the commentators said that if you win A superbowl you deserve to get paid. Yeah right that quarterback is not the only player on the team he didnt get you there by himself.would they have won without plax or davids great catch NO!!!!! With that kind of logic Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson the luckiest Quarterbacks ever should have got paid too eventhough they had best defense in the league.

No way is Eli among the upper tier of QB's in the league, but I would sign Cutler asap before we have to sign him for twice that.
Cutler will show he is better than Eli this year, then there goes the sky

Brings to mind two famous Bill Parcells's quotes about QBs:

1. Everyone thinks you can just call a 1-800 number and get a franchise QB.
2. When you get one of these guys, you pay whatever you have to to keep him.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 5, 2009 8:43 AM.

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