Biggs: Breaking down the dollars for Cutler
The Bears didn’t plan on going to Jay Cutler about a contract extension this season, general manager Jerry Angelo said, but when his agent Bus Cook presented a few ideas to the team in the wake of the blockbuster deals signed by Eli Manning and Philip Rivers this summer, the parties quickly found some common ground.
Cutler was able to avoid having a $12 million roster bonus, that wasn’t guaranteed in 2011, moved up with the threat of a possible work stoppage then. The Bears were able to take advantage of a surplus of salary cap room this season, and position themselves to build the team around the quarterback moving forward. For cap and cash purposes, it made sense because the Bears figure to be active in free agency with Angelo already without his first- and second-round draft picks next season.
“We felt given the uncertainty of the CBA, given the fact we had the cap room, this was a good time for us because what it does for us is it helps our planning going forward,’’ Angelo said. “This will not impede us to not do anything we need to do in free agency moving forward. In fact, it’s going to help us now because there’s real clarity because Jay was always in the plans. It was just when we were going to do it and how much it was going to … the cost. All that got resolved in a timely manner.
“We’re very very happy with that. I know Jay is happy with that. He made it very clear he wanted to be a Bear. Money was never an issue when we made the trade with him.”
Cutler’s two-year extension is worth $30 million and it includes $20 million guaranteed, $16 million of which he will receive this season. It essentially becomes a $50 million, five-year contract after this season. He actually reduced the money that was due to him in 2011 with uncertainty clouding the relationship between owners and players.
“I think every player in the league is probably concerned with that because we don’t know what is going to happen, is there going to be a lockout or what’s going to happen?’’ Cutler said. “You know, the (players association) is advising everyone to save money. So any money you can get before that point is going to be good for any player.’’
The National Football Post has obtained a breakdown of the payouts for Cutler. Here is how the money falls in the deal:
$7 million signing bonus
$9 million added to his base salary
Cutler was already earning a base salary of $1.035 million this season.
$7.5 million base salary
$8.1 million base salary
$8.2 million base salary
$8.9 base salary
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