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Emery reiterates that franchise tag is in play for Cutler

Cutler Getty Images

Earlier this week, Bears G.M. Phil Emery said that the franchise tag isn’t off the table for quarterback Jay Cutler.

On Friday, Emery said it again.

I didn’t say that I would rule it out,” Emery told ESPN 1000, via Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com. “I said it’s not the first thing we would think about in signing players that we like.  If you put a franchise tag on a player, that’s a player that you like.  We like Jay.  If you like a player, you want to move forward in a multi-contract year basis, not a short term.”

Emery previously has explained that the franchise tag is less desirable because it results in a significant salary cap charge in one year.  While a long-term deal can be negotiated to entail a lower cap charge in the first year, the dollars will hit the cap, eventually.

Though not articulated (yet) by Emery, the bigger problem with using the franchise tag comes from the fact that the tag sets the floor for negotiations on a long-term deal.  With the tag for quarterbacks expected to be in the range of $16 million for 2014 and a 20-percent raise required for the second application of the tag and a 44-percent increase applying to the third, Cutler would make more than $60 million over the next three years by taking it one year at a time.

Cutler would still bear the risk of injury by going one year at a time, which would give the Bears a decent argument for knocking the guaranteed money down from $60 million over three years.  Still, the final numbers with the franchise tag serving as the starting point could be much more than Cutler’s actual market value.

But Cutler’s ultimate market value can’t be determined unless he hits the market, and if the Bears let him hit the market they risk that he’ll take less to go elsewhere, simply because the Bears failed to make a “fair” long-term offer using the franchise tag as the starting point.

All that said, the Bears seem to be committed to keeping Cutler.

“I’ve said it before, I’m convinced that Jay is a franchise quarterback,” Emery said Friday.  “The rest of that as far as where we are going in the future, we’ll work out that in the offseason.  Certainly I’m pleased with Jay. I think he’s grown in certain areas. When he’s been healthy and been on the field this year, he’s been playing at his highest level ever during the course of his career.

“I think he’s improved in the leadership area.  I think his demeanor has improved.  I think the time off made him appreciate the great coaches that we have.  He’s told me that our coaches are on fire with their game-planning, execution and getting guys ready to play.  The last three games that he played when healthy from start to finish, he’s been over 100.0 in passer-rating.  So we see a lot of good things out of Jay.”

Jay’s going to want to see a lot of money out of the Bears in order to keep showing them good things as a member of the Bears and not, say, as the quarterback of the Vikings.

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18 Responses to “Emery reiterates that franchise tag is in play for Cutler”
  1. douglasgreenbriar says: Dec 21, 2013 6:53 PM

    After he wins the super bowl MVP he’ll be worth even more than 16 million a year.

  2. cinvis says: Dec 21, 2013 7:05 PM

    There are groups of QB’s.
    Elite …. Rodgers, Brady, Manning (I just puked in my mouth a bit)

    Youthful hopefuls… Luck, Wilson, etc.

    Need a great team to carry them to win… Rap1st, Lesser Manning, Flacco…

    Oh Plzzzz… Dalton, Ryan, Stafford, Romo, etc.

    Then theres guys who could win if you put a good team around them… Smith, Rivers, Cutler is in this group.

    If it was me as GM I’d sign him in a heartbeat, as a Packer fan I hope they don’t and he signs in the AFC.

  3. thegreatgabbert says: Dec 21, 2013 7:10 PM

    “Merchandise! The merchandise tag is in play. Reduced to clear. Jesus, do I got an accent or sumthin? Clean out your ears.”.

  4. punkyqb says: Dec 21, 2013 7:13 PM

    Cutler has won 75% of the games he’s started, can you say that about Stafford. The only year that Detroit made it to the playoffs with Stafford they backed in because Cutler broke his thumb and the Bears lost almost all of their remaining games.

  5. alshonbrandontandem says: Dec 21, 2013 7:20 PM

    Get a deal done, quickly

  6. wnstonchill says: Dec 21, 2013 7:30 PM

    Phil, I’m appreciative of all you’ve done with this Bears org. and it’s fun watching this thing come together. Can you please just tell the media, “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” and just focus on the season right now and we’ll all just enjoy the heck out of all of this together?!!

  7. johnniemayes says: Dec 21, 2013 7:35 PM

    Lets review-

    Cutler: 1 career playoff win vs the 7-9 Seahawks in 2010. Also, he has several regular season chokes that prevented his team from making the playoffs. See 2008 week 16 Buffalo at Denver, 2006 week 17 San Francisco at Denver and 2012 week 15 Green Bay at Chicago. Notice they’re all home games, all losses and all would’ve meant a playoff berth if he won.

    Bottom line: Cutler can’t win when it counts and he has the track record to prove it.

  8. mantastic54 says: Dec 21, 2013 7:36 PM

    Bears need to somehow move to the NFC east, then they can save some money and start McCown. He’d probably throw for about 7500 yards and 87 tds against all those sorry defenses

  9. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 21, 2013 7:40 PM

    Don’t those fools remember what the Bears Offense looked like before Culter (Marshall/Jeffery)?!?

  10. bennyb82 says: Dec 21, 2013 8:03 PM

    I am more curious to see what is next for McCown.

  11. crcoord says: Dec 21, 2013 8:12 PM

    NFW this guy deserves a big contract. Yeah, he’s played well, when he’s HEALTHY, but that’s not often enough to commit big money over many years to him!

  12. aldante66 says: Dec 21, 2013 8:24 PM

    Chicago should trade Cutler to the Pack for ROgers and a second round pick. God knows Ted needs to get rid of the humungous contract and could use a ton of top picks to replace the losers he has drafted the past three years.

  13. drago2012 says: Dec 21, 2013 8:57 PM

    The games that Cuttler lost which prevented Bears from going to playoffs ,were due to a very poor offensive line. He was being sacked every other play. It is amazing he can still line up and throw the ball. This guy is one of the smartest quarterbacks in the NFL.
    They should just let him call his own plays like Payton Manning. For the first time in Bears history we have a quarterback and two of the best wide outs in the NFL. Lance is coming back this week and run game defense will improve greatly. I predicct that our beloved BEARS will steam roll everyone in the NFL on their way to the SUPERBOWL!!
    DDDAAAAAAAAAA BEARSSSSSSSSSS!!!

  14. amazingguy101 says: Dec 21, 2013 9:07 PM

    Go young bears. Cutler isn’t worth the price the off season

  15. lance19 says: Dec 22, 2013 1:01 AM

    Jay Cutler has never lived up to the early hype.
    Here’s a guy who in 8 seasons has never even hit a 90 passer rating (in a pass-easy era, in which a Romo can be a career 96).
    I’m not saying the guy’s a bum, but the numbers show that he’s never been a reliable passer
    (a fact one sure wouldn’t know by reading many of these wishful-thinking posts, that re-write Cutler’s career much more successful than the facts do)

  16. afcdomination says: Dec 22, 2013 2:59 AM

    thanks to how flacco cashed in, then romo, it made it basically so that you are either willing to take a 6/60 deal and be the “next tier” or you prove yourself and get that 7/100. Cutler knows its hard to get a really good QB in the NFL and that the bears aren’t about to just let him walk with no replacement there. its not like a brees/rivers situation here. so he will want more than they think he has proven to be worth so far, and they are likely right. however he holds all the leverage and will force them into tagging him next year

  17. afcdomination says: Dec 22, 2013 3:02 AM

    like alex smith, cutler should eventually get a long term deal from his team.

    as much as some fans of both of those teams badly want to go in another direction with unproven youth.

  18. golforepar says: Dec 22, 2013 8:35 AM

    uh oh the dreaded – vote of confidence!

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