Chicago Sun-Times

Rivers' deal moves Cutler one step closer to huge contract

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That didn't take long.

Less than three week after news first broke of the $97.5 million, six-year contract extension that Eli Manning was to receive from the New York Giants, Philip Rivers has cashed in.

Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports that the San Diego Chargers and Rivers, linked forever to Manning because of the trade the 2004 first-round draft picks were involved in, have reached terms on a $92 million, six-year extension. Rivers is to receive a little less than $38.5 million guaranteed. That's about $3.5 million more guaranteed than Manning received.

It's impossible to say what the next domino to fall will be when it comes to huge quarterback contracts, but Jay Cutler just moved one step closer to the front of the line. Cutler was amused when talking about Manning's deal during training camp, and no doubt has to be thrilled with the landfall for his former arch rival in the AFC West, Rivers. Now, he'll be looking for his bite at the apple.

The Bears have more than $20 million remaining in salary cap room for this season. It's a good idea to devote a large chunk of that to Cutler, who has three years remaining on his contract, with the idea that the CBA will eventually be worked out. By eating up a majority of the remaining camp room this season, the Bears would position themselves to be in excellent position under the cap moving forward. It's not a situation where they need to see how Cutler performs this season to get a deal done. He's going to be the quarterback for the long haul.

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30 Comments

Saw Rivers in action the other night, now there's a QB that earns it - unlike Eli. Eli is good but not great.

Turner seems to be having some nice plays as well. Can't believe - all my life Ive been watching Da Bears Defense murdalize opponents - guess I have to get used to us having a strong Offense w/ a weak Defense maybe for awhile. Url/Harris sure look bad, too bad. They had the makings of probowlers for a few more years.

Here's some quotes from Da players on our new QB! ;) No. 6

Bleacher report:

"He does some plays and does some things out there that I've never seen,” Forte said. “I've never had a quarterback like that. I'm just glad he's here."

Wide receiver Devin Aromashodu might as well have been describing a young Favre.

“He’ll throw it across the field, anywhere, with his arm strength and his mobility,” Aromashodu said “You never know where the ball is coming from. So he could throw it from anywhere.”

The Bears haven’t shown a lot of rollout in practices at training camp, and in practice the quarterback can’t be touched so he’s rarely going to be flushed out of the pocket to set up playground-style football.
The Bears have worked into their scheme what to do if Cutler is roaming with the ball, looking to throw.
“We kind of have a scheme that we have: If he rolls out to a certain side, certain receivers will do certain things,” Aromashodu said. “So we’re ready for it if he does go out of the pocket.
“It’s really set up. It’s really part of the scheme.”

Wow is everyone else excited as well?

They have 20 million remaining this season, but will loose, Goon and probably Anderson, Harris will not come close to hitting his big escalators, Dusty is all but gone, Vasher too. Forte, Cutler and Olsen will probably be due pretty good size pay-days at the end of the season. Man New York must still be kicking themselves over the trade for Manning.

By Anonymous:
"The Bears haven’t shown a lot of rollout in practices at training camp, and in practice the quarterback can’t be touched so he’s rarely going to be flushed out of the pocket to set up playground-style football."

They have been working on a moving pocket all camp. Thats what you are refering to. The Broncos used to do it.


Orton still SUCKS!! He is the master of dink n dunk and the Broncos will suffer. Can't wait to see him struggle this Sunday!!

Creighton, The point of mentioning that they 20 million available this year is to front load the contract so that Cutler becomes really expensive this year, but much less so in the future when the Bears can use that money on someone else.

By the way, i don't think the Giants are kicking themselves, they did win the Super Bowl.

Creighton wrote:

"Man New York must still be kicking themselves over the trade for Manning."

How could they be kicking themselves? Eli might not be great as in top five QBs, but he lead them on a 2 minute drill that ended in one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets ever. How could they regret it!?! One SB victory is almost worth the contract he got. Eli is like a better version of the QB model the Bears have had for years. A game manager who actually manages the game, and has a little something extra as well. I would take Eli and a SB title over Rivers and the squad of almost good enoughs any day. There's no way of knowing if Rivers could have done the same thing Eli did given the same situation.

Cutler, a big deal?

Cutler has a 17-20 lifetime record as a starter. He's never sniffed the playoffs. He hasn't done a thing.

Cutler might be the most overhyped player in the NFL. He's been a bust and no one has yet to acknowledge this fact.

For some reason, certain types of fans (fantasy) show their stupidity every time they criticize a player who couldn't give two shites about stats (Manning). Watch the games and pay attention to Manning qb a game. He's an accomplished footballer on the way (if he earns that contract) to becoming great.

A great qb does more than throw the football for big yards. I'm surprised others don't get it or simplify the position as much as they do. Rivers is good for his pass first offense and deserves the money. Same, if not more so, for Eli in his run first offense. Wake up people and quit showing your stupidity.

Ketch Rudder,
Wow, too over the top. If you're going to troll the message boards try not to be so obvious.

Chicago fans (you see this is a Bears message board) will take a guy who's been to the Pro Bowl in 2 out of 3 years. You see, we've endured the likes of Cade McNown, Sexy Rexy, and Capt. Neckbeard just to name a few.

I've always thought that, in a sense, all QB's are "system QBs". The key is to find the right guy for your system and not overpay a guy that was great in a different system. Would Montana have worked in the Fouts offense? Doubtful. But there was nobody better in the Walsh system. There's a reason Favre wanted Minnesota and they wanted him. It's a fit even if he is cresting that final hill. With Rivers, he is the right guy and with Eli it's the same thing.

With Cutler, we don't know yet. Turner does not really run a "dink and dunk" even though he has somewhat of a west coast philosophy using single TE and FB much of the time. QB's that have done well with him are usually pocket passers like Kramer or Kitner (at Ill.) with strong arms to get the ball to wideouts down the field. But, Turner has evolved into more of a double TE guy-- he has always loved the power running game and play action. This offense may look more like the Colts with single back and double TE and lots of downfield passing, play action and good running lanes for the back. Fine with me. I think Cutler gives you everything a pocket guy like Kramer used to give you but he also has a little of the escapability you like to see. If he can learn to throw it away every now and then he is going to be a great one. Time will tell if he's the right guy for this system but he sure has the tools for the job.

wow pretty bold statement ketch, you must not have watched Cutler or know football at all. I will overlook the fact you are drunk.
Just seeing him in action one can tell the man has all the right moves. We need a Defense (like Denver) to win - one player does not a team make

no one said Eli was not a good QB or not even a franchise QB - but better than his brother? or Rivers? - Just watch the 2 play the game Eli is good, but we are tslking one of the best at that payscale

and also dude! Eli did elude the sack pretty durn good but even the announcers said he rarely does that and the WR caught the ball on his helmet. AND Plax got his own self wide open. Not taking anything away but that was like fate and others help. The elude thing was the best no doubt -

Creighton why on earth would you think New York regrets trading for Eli? They won a super bowl with him and just gave him like $100 million for a long term contract. The Giants traded because they thought they were getting a francise quarterback and that's exactly what they got. There was no guarantee they would get anything from the deal. Ever hear of Alex Smith?

Why does it matter that Rivers also turned out to be a good quarterback? Eli is still a better value at quarterback than Rivers for the same reasons as when they were drafted. Bigger, stronger, at least as mobile with a better-more accurate arm. Eli has a good record in big games. He also has a lot thinner medical file. Is he enough better to justify what the Giants gave up to draft him? That will always be a historical question, but it is a moot point now that they are into their second contracts.

The Giants DON'T WANT the greatest show on turf. That's not who they are. The only thing I can get from their decisions is that Eli plays the quarterback position just like they want it played.

CUTLER MUST TAKE THE BEARS TO THE PROMISED LAND BEFORE HE WILL BE PAID THOSE CRAZY DOLLARS, AND YOU GUYS KNOW IT, THE BEARS DON'T THROW AROUND MONEY, RIVERS WAS PAID BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE SAME CLASS AS ELI MANNING, MANNING WAS PAID, SO THEREFORE RIVERS WAS PAID AS WELL, ONE GUY HAS WON A SUPERBOWL, AND ONE GUY HAS PLAYED IN AN AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, CUTLER HAS THE TALENT, HE MUST DO WHAT THESE GUYS HAVE DONE, EVEN REX GROSSMAN PLAYED IN A SUPERBOWL!

Rivers is a little more talented than Eli but Eli has a Super Bowl ring and is a great game manager. Jay Cutler will make a little less but we talking 60 -80 million, WOW! with SB ring we talking 100 mil. Pay him now! GO BEARS!

Rivers is a little more talented than Eli but Eli has a Super Bowl ring and is a great game manager. Jay Cutler will make a little less but we talking 60 -80 million, WOW! with SB ring we talking 100 mil. Pay him now! GO BEARS!

Ketch you have got to be the biggest jacka#% on the planet. Cutler is an elite QB, not overhyped. Are you blind or just have your head up your a@@? Who would you like back.......Shane Matthews, Cade McNown, Rex, Orton, Hutchinson, Kordell, your mom???

Go Support another team loser!!!

GO BEARS....Cutler RULES.

did I say a D like Denver?? my bad - in a hurry at work. We need a D UN like Denver lol
A D like Da Bears are used to

and Cutler has to do none of that to get a big contract. Da Bears know what he is capable of and know what the Market is. But they really should sign him now as opposed to waiting untill he wins and then pay him so much more than Eli/Rivers.

You seriously believe Rivers is that great? I don't think so. Knock Manning all you want but he has positioned his team to the playoffs every year there and won the big game already against a steamrolling 16-0 Pats team.

@ Da Church of Da Coach

Pro Bowl? That's a popularity contest. Tony Romo made it after seven starts.

@ randy & Tomk4054

Whatever, you backwoods retards.

Jay Cutler has played fractionally better than Jeff Garcia in terms of contributing to wins (TDs in wins) and not contributing to losses (INTs, incompletes in losses).

However, Garcia has thrown the ball 3,676 times. Compared to 1,220 throws of Cutler, we can be sure where Garcia stacks up in the history of QBs. When Cutler gets to at least 3,000 throws, get back to us.

Until then, go back to your hayseed lives.

On an aside, the Giants have overpaid for Eli. Next to Kerry Collins, Eli Manning has done the second least of all QBs in the NFL in terms of contributing to wins and not contributing to losses.

It so happens that he became the winning QB of record on the day the Giants defense gave a five-sack beat down on Tom Brady.

Wouldn't it be nice if players did not worry about how much money their corresponding contemporaries are making? Unfortunately in the world of professional football that will never happen. When a Vick or an oldster like Favre can command the kind of money they do, the youinger talents are going to cash in while they can, and in a way, who can blame them?

I say let Cutler at least start out the season and see how he does before signing him big. I know the Bears are in this long term -- but in all honestly, Cutler hasn't shown enough yet to deserve a blind signing. He has an OK contract right now, and if it is clear he can do what he came here to do, then sign him big.

What if they wait and the standard is $125 million the next time this comes up Now I'm not payin the bills up there and not trying to belittle the situation but this guy has already proven, check his stats,plenty.

On another note I read this quote on (another web site) and am I crazy for justifying the future pics that JC will indoubtably throw vs. the reward of him being mobile in the first place?

"And what are the receivers instructed to do when Cutler bolts out of the pocket?

“We have general rules, but a lot of times it’s just a feel for where the hole is,” Clark said. “Different zones have different openings. Of course, one general rule is if he’s rolling to the right, you don’t run to the left. If you’re deep, you’re probably going to stay deep. When you have a guy like Jay who can escape out of the pocket and then still throw the ball downfield, you have to always be ready for that.”

Buckle up!Go BEAR!

Even if we pay him the same deal as Rivers (6 years, $92 million), it's still only $15.3 mil per year. If we make a couple of moves before the season starts, like getting rid of Vasher, we gain another 3-4 million towards the cap. We save a bunch of money going in to next year because of Benson's cap number aging off, as well as other expiring contracts. We can get Cutler done now before the price tag goes up, and still have the potential to get Olsen and Forte done before the start of next season.

Not sure what the price tag is for a TE going in to his prime years, but it likely is not more than 6-7 mil per year. We can set up the contract for Cutler to increase the hit on the cap this year while we have some room, by using roster bonuses rather than signing bonuses, so they are not spread out over time.

Depending on how this year goes, we may be down several members of our starting lineups going in to 2010. We would need to draft or sign replacements, which will eat up a lot of space in the cap, but knowing we have out clauses in contracts like Tommie Harris and Hester makes this more palatable.

Going into 2010, here are the bigger $ players who may not be in the plan, or that we will need to make decisions on:

Offense:
Kreutz--may retire after this year, but probably will play out his deal through 2010
Pace--Williams is looking pretty solid. May not need more than 1 year from him
Garza--relatively modest cap figure, but we may need to get Beekman on the field until Kreutz leaves
Dez Clark--Olsen is the guy, and Davis looks like he is coming along. Dez may not factor in long term plan
Hester--If he is not a premier return man, he needs to be a premier receiver. If he is not, we are paying him way too much. Likely will be a 2011 decision, not 2010.

Defense:
Wale--free agent, and 34 years old (maybe I'm off by a year)
Tommie Harris--return on investment. Playing time not worth $10M per year, and we have a "walk away" point after this season with minimal cap exposure
Vasher/Tillman--Vasher, if he makes it this year, will not be around next year. Tillman is likely safe, but has a lot of injuries in recent years

Special Teams
Maynard--At some point, we will need to replace him.
Mannelly--luxury to have for the last however many years, but won't play forever. Will be a special teams coach down the line in the NFL


This is a team with a lot of youth, and a lot of old guys. There isn't much in between. That means changeover of the depth chart over the next 3-4 years. We have our cornerstones on offense (Cutler, Forte, Olsen, Williams, Omiyale) for the future, and on defense, we have Briggs, Tillman, and not much else for the long haul that is locked up. Payne, Gilbert, Afalava, Moore, Graham, Bowman, Freeman, Manning, are all guys that could either become part of that core for the future, or could be on the waiver wire just as easily. Our window is short for the team we have, and then we have to be ready to reload the team for another run. I could see a time 2-3 years down the road that the offense carries the team, and the defense just has to be average to compete....>Been a while since that was the case....

Ketch Rudder: "blah-blah-blah-blah-Jay Cutler-blah-blah-Jeff Garcia-blah-blah-Elicha Manning-blah-blah-something-else-out-of-my-arse"

[Citation Needed]

NEXT YEAR IS UNCAPPED,AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS IN TERMS OF WHAT WE CAN AND CAN'T/WILL AND WON'T DO INTERMS OF NEXT YEARS SALARY SITUATIONS. MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT TOP LINE PLAYERS WILL MAKE MORE AND BOTTOM LINE PLAYERS MAKE LESS IN AN UNCAPPED YEAR, AS THERE IS NO MINIMUM. I BELIEVE THE BEARS WILL DO THE PRUDENT AND PROPER(SORRY FOR BEING REDUDNANT) AND WAIT OUT THE CBA SITUATION BEFORE SHELLING OUT BIG BUCKS FOR CUTLER, BECAUSE IN THEORY, THEY COULD EMPTY THE VAULT FOR HIM, BUT THEY WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO BE FAIR IN ALL THE "LITTLE DEALS" THAT HELP COMPLETE A ROSTER. I WOULD BE INTERESTED IN HEARING BIGG'S TAKE ON HOW THE CBA SITUATION IS OR ISN'T AFFECTING A CUTLER EXTENSION.

ONE THING FOR SURE, BEARS HAVE ALREADY TURNED OVER A PROFIT IN REGARDS TO THIS TRADE. CUTLER IS #1 IN NFL JERSEY SALES. I AM SURE A SURGE IN #4 PURPLE JERSEYS WILL CUT INTO THAT RANKING A BIT, BUT IT REMAINS, THE BEARS ARE PAYING A LITTLE OUT OF CUTLER'S CONTRACT AND RAKING IN MILLIONS, SO HE HAS MORE THAN JUST HIS ARM AND LEGS AS HIS BARGAINING CHIP

The only reason his amount would be higher is if there is another QB on another team who is going to warrant that amount. Which QB in the league is going to need a new contract before Jay will? Everyone who is anyone has already gotten his dough so there won't be anyone to compare with but the guys who already have a contract. And even if he is great he's going to have to take whatever the best got or closer to that amount. If the best contract was 6 for 100 then Jay will most likely take about the same because the other guys will either be worth it or prove that that amount is too crazy. The contract Vick got almost 5 years ago has yet to be surpassed by anyone so it's a valid point that no one is worth that amount now. You can't give it all to one guy and expect to field a better than standard team. Is Jay a team player or greedy? I see a team player.

Well, define "bust" first.

Probably the following characteristics apply: a) high draft pick, b) mediocre to bad passing numbers, c) losing teams, d) cannot hold down starting job.

I'm thinking a) is a given, b) is a must, plus either c) or d) would constitute a "bust."

So that's (arguably) Vince Young, Matt Leinart, JaMarcus Russell, Alex Smith, J.P. Losman, Byron Leftwich, Kyle Boller, Rex Grossman, Joey Harrington, David Carr...

Although it's still early to label some of these guys a bust, Cutler doesn't even come close. No, he hasn't played in a playoff game, but neither did Dan Fouts or any number of good QBs at the beginning of their careers. If his numbers all of a sudden fall off a cliff, and the team starts losing 10 games a season for the next half-decade, then you can call him a bust.

"Hype." Well, if you're not super-excited at the sighting of a pro-bowl QB donning a Bears uniform, which happens just a little bit more frequently than a Halley's Comet, then you're not a real Bears fan.

Teams pay players for different reasons. I wouldn't have paid Eli the big money, but I guess they needed to reward Eli for the SB win, and were comfortable with his maturing process the last two years, because his numbers did vastly improve. The Chagers feel good about Philip Rivers too, and I don't blame them.

Cutler's contract situation doesn't require a deal to be done immediately, and I think Cutler understands that he hasn't shown the Bears organization anything yet. But after the Bears actually see what he can do on the field, the talks will begin soon enough, and if things work out like we hope they will, the Bears would be crazy not to keep Cutler happy.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 24, 2009 6:52 PM.

Source: Dvoracek to miss season with torn ACL in right knee was the previous entry in this blog.

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