Bears' Phil Emery wants to avoid franchise tagging Jay Cutler

Bears' Phil Emery wants to avoid franchise tagging Jay Cutler
December 4, 2013, 9:30 am
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CSN Staff

By Charlie Roumeliotis

During Jay Cutler's weekly radio show on Monday, the Bears quarterback expressed his interest to stay in Chicago in 2014.

Cutler, who's in the final year of a five-year, $49.7 million contract, said he wouldn't be opposed to being franchise tagged. But general manager Phil Emery made it clear Tuesday that he would like to avoid that path.

"With the franchise tag being so high for the quarterback position, to use it and not sign the individual to a long-term deal hurts the team because you lose the ability to prorate the amount of guaranteed salary over the length of the contract," Emery wrote in a chat for Bears.com. "Pro-ration lowers the salary cap number in relation to that player's contract. Obviously the lower the number in relation to the salary cap, the more players you can sign to help your team reach its goals."

[MORE: Cutler: new contract 'probable?']

Emery was also asked what the salary cap situation will be like for the Bears, who have the fewest players (28) under contract in 2014.

"The No. 1 thing to understand is that the salary cap is exactly the same for all NFL teams," Emery wrote. "How that money is divided up among the players determines how much additional resources you have to acquire new players. So each and every contract that is signed has an impact on the plan of putting the puzzle together to build a championship team."

Emery reiterated all contracts will be worked on during the offseason.