When the Cleveland Browns played the Chicago Bears a few weeks ago, some fans began discussing the possibility of QB Jay Cutler signing with the Browns in the offseason. Cutler was set to become a free agent, and it was uncertain if the Bears would want to sign him to a lucrative deal, especially given how veteran backup QB Josh McCown was in Marc Trestman's offense.
With the season over, it looks more and more like the Browns will need to draft a quarterback come May, though, because the Bears announced today that they have signed Cutler to a 7-year extension.
#Bears QB Jay Cutler’s contract: 7 years, $126 million with $54M guaranteed.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 2, 2014
The contract is not quite as lucrative as the one that Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco signed last offseason, but it's still a very lucrative deal. Flacco's extension earned him an average of $20.1 million per year on a 6-year, $120.6 million deal. Cutler will "only" make an average of $18 million per year on his 7-year, $126 million deal. Flacco received $52 million guaranteed vs. Cutler's $54 million guaranteed, but you have to factor in the difference in years, of course.
Cutler's deal is also shy of QB Aaron Rodgers' five-year, $110 million deal (an average of $22 million per year) that he signed this past offseason. If I were the Browns, I would have signed Rodgers to that type of deal, but not Flacco nor Cutler, even with Cleveland's cap space.