Entering the final year of his contract, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler watched the monstrous amounts of money being tossed to players at his position this offseason, and joked “it doesn’t make me mad,” Michael C. Wright of ESPN Chicago reports.
But in assessing his own situation, Cutler knows the deal.
“You’ve got to win games to earn those contracts,” he said Tuesday, just minutes after the club’s first voluntary minicamp at the Walter Payton Center. “There are some big numbers being thrown out there. You can’t get ahead of yourself. I’m in my last year obviously. I’m sure everyone knows that. So we’ll play it out and see how it goes.”
Set to earn $8.47 million in 2013, Cutler enters the offseason with his fourth offensive coordinator in five years in Aaron Kromer since joining the Bears in 2009 through a trade with the Denver Broncos.
Despite playing just four seasons with the Bears, Cutler leads the franchise in passer rating (81.9), and completions (1,034) and ranks second in touchdown passes (82), passing yards (12,292) and completion percentage (59.6).
Cutler owns a 35-23 overall record (including the postseason).
Asked back in February whether Cutler needed to perform in 2013 before the team would invest long term in the quarterback, Bears general manager Phil Emery said, “we’re gonna work through that. I’m not going to comment on anything involving contracts, or future contracts, or current contracts, or when we’re going to decide on contracts.”
Cutler, meanwhile, seemed perfectly comfortable with the perception that 2013 is a make-or-break season for him.
“That’s not up to me to decide. I’m not worried about those things. Every year, you put pressure on yourself,” he said. “Every team in the NFL is preparing to win the Super Bowl. We’re doing the same thing.”