Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, in the final year of his contract, said he is not anticipating the Bears negotiating another extension and has no problem playing out the final year of the contract, making 2013 a ''prove-it'' season.
As Cutler noted, the Bears probably don't have salary cap room to give him te contract he would be looking for. But in Marc Trestman's first year, the Bears are likely to want to see exactly what they have -- or don't have -- in Cutler before committing to him long-term.
''I think that's probably the way we're headed,'' Cutler said Wednesday morning on ''The Silvy & Waddle Show'' on WMVP-AM. ''We haven't really talked about anything. We're upgrading in certain positions. I don't think we really are in a positition to do my deal.
''Phil's got a plan worked out We'll just have to see what happens. I'm perfectly comfortable in the situation I'm in. If we go into it iwth this last year then so be it. I'll play it out and we'll see what happens at the end of the year.
Of course, playing out the contract could turn into a boon for Cutler, just as it was for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who parlayed a Super Bowl victory into a six-year, $120-million contract. And even if it doesn't work out quite that fortuitously, Cutler knows he will have options as a free agent.
''At quarterback, there's a lot of teams out there, if it doesn't work out,'' he said. ''I would love to stay here. I love the situation I'm in. I look at [it] as the opportunity as a whole with coach Trestman coming in, Phil [Emery] doing the best possible job to upgrade the entire team. Offensively us getting better. A new system. I think there's enough on my plate to keep my mind occupied without having to worry about my deal.''
With Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Jermon Bushrod and Martellus Bennett in Trestman's system, the Bears have an opportunity to take a quantum leap on offense in 2013. But Cutler is not going overboard regarding the prospect of the Bears becoming a top-10 offense this season.
''Ideally, yeah. [But] it doesn't always work out like that, so I'm no going to [predict] what's going to happen,'' Cutler said. ''We're getting the pieces in place. Coach Trestman and his offense, I'm really excited about it. The guys are really going to be excited about our approach to offense and just the intensity we're going to approach each and eveyr day.
''We're getting the pieces talent-wise around everybody. Defense is going to be really good once again. Special teams is going to be there as well. It's all about getting hot at the end in December and making the push into the playoffs. We've got to stay healthy and things have to fall our way. I think Phil and everyone involved is doing everything possible to put us in a position to be successful.''