Jerry Angelo furious with 'crap,' attacks on Jay Cutler

The man who paid two first-round draft picks and a third-round pick for Jay Cutler and then signed him to a $30 million, two-year contract extension isn’t happy with the public meat grinder Jay Cutler has been put through.

Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo was irate Monday with speculation that Cutler wasn’t tough enough to continue in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game with a sprained MCL in his left knee. What was surreal was the criticism that piled up on Cutler from other players around the league and former players. Cutler was quickly vilified.

“I’m very surprised, I think it’s crap,” Angelo said. “I thought they were a union. If that’s the way they unionize themselves, they got bigger issues than the one that they have with the owners. I’m very disappointed in that. That to me is dirty pool. It is what it is, people are allowed to say what they want to say, but that doesn’t mean it’s right, and it’s certainly not grounded.”

Cutler is a polarizing figure and the reaction leaguewide could have been more to do with what they think of his personality than how they judge his toughness.

He was also being put through the ringer on sports talk radio in Chicago.

“I've always said this town is tough on quarterbacks,” Angelo said at his news conference Monday. “That's one of the prerequisites of playing quarterback in this town. If you don't have thick skin this is not the town to be in. And I'm not being disrespectful to anybody in this room. You have got jobs to do, you do your jobs. We have to deal with whatever adversity or pressure comes with the territory.

“That's why I personally wanted to trade for a veteran quarterback, somebody who earned their stripes here in the league, that was used to what comes into the fishbowl at that quarterback position. I think Jay handles what comes with the territory very well. Again, I'm not making excuses for anybody. That just comes with the territory. He's paid well. And he's paid to win and that's just part of the game.”

Angelo said the only fair way to judge Cutler is with his bottom line.

“You get respect by one thing in this league – winning,” he said. “It's not about whether I like him or don't like him. If he'd be a good neighbor or not a good neighbor. You get respect in this league and credibility by winning. It's not about being a nice guy. I could care less about a nice guy. There are probably some old quarterbacks in the past that if we had you as a media we would have probably heard some things about them and we wouldn't have thought they were nice guys but they wound up in Canton.

“It's about performance. Let's not forget about that. And we wouldn't have gotten to where we had gotten this year without him. And we're very confident he's going to take us to that next level.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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