Emery says franchise tag isn’t off the table for Cutler

AP

Earlier this month, Bears G.M. Phil Emery discussed the challenges associated with using the franchise tag on quarterback Jay Cutler.  Many interpreted Emery’s comments as reflecting a decision to not use the tag on Cutler.

On Monday night, Emery made it clear that the tag isn’t off the table.

“I would say ‘disregard completely’ is an oversimplification of what the franchise tag is in relation to contracts and caps and player contracts overall,” Emery said in an appearance on WSCR radio in Chicago.  “What I had said before was that just make sure when you look at the franchise tag [you know] what that means from a quarterback’s contract perspective and the amount of room and space that it eats up.  It’s not necessarily a solution.  It’s not the first thing we would think about.  The first think we’d think about if we wanted to sign a player is a long-term contract.  That fits better in our cap situation.”

The bigger problem is that the franchise tag provides the starting point for a long-term deal.  With the ability to make $16 million guaranteed in 2014, why would Cutler wants anything less than $30 million guaranteed in the first two years, or less than $50 million guaranteed in the first three?

Not using the tag gives Cutler the ability to let the market set his value.  And it gives Cutler the ability to take less money from another team (like the Vikings) if he wants to stick it to the Bears.

That’s the real risk for the Bears.  If they don’t use the tag and try to let the market set his value, Cutler could choose to ultimately take less than the Bears have offered because they refused to make an offer driven by the franchise tag.

13 responses to “Emery says franchise tag isn’t off the table for Cutler

  1. Cutler has already said he wants to stay with the Bears, and that he’d accept a new contract without asking to break the bank.

    So this article is pure speculation, and fodder for the haters to slither out of the woodwork. In the end, I believe a long-term deal gets done.

  2. Other teams don’t have Marshall and Jeffery to throw to. Cutler very well may go to another team if he gets to the open market, but my guess is that it won’t be for less money than the Bears are offering.

  3. this is the first NFL offense Cutler has played in since he came to the Bears and he has stated he loves it and likes trestman. if anything he will take a below market deal to stay with the Bears than start over again in a new offense on a lousy team. if he leaves it will be for more money not less.

  4. Does he want to win or just make a great deal of money? If he takes 16 mil there ain’t much left in the kitty to cover all the other holes in the Bears defense. Take 12 mill a year for 3 years and the deal can work. Ask for more and then it’s just about money and not about football at all.

    Emery might also help himself by staying off the radio.

  5. If he asks for too much, they should let him walk. You’ve got Jeffery and Marshall and Forte, so an investment into the OL and a smarter, half-decent QB is probably money better spent.

  6. There are only holes at safety and front four, the latter due to injury. Cutty deserves to get market value if $16M, the question is what Melton, Tills, Jennings and Wooton are looking to get and if they’ll all be brought back. Those defensive players will solidify a D along with the incoming draft.

  7. There isn’t a chance in hell Cutler leaves if the Bears want him. He and the offense is thriving. There’d be no point to pick up, leave, and start with a new system somewhere where you will not win games like Tennessee or the Vikings like this article mentions. He’ll take a hometown discount paying somewhere annually 15 mil. He’s smart and isn’t all about the money for him.

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