INDIANAPOLIS The Atlanta Falcons will be looking to secure quarterback Matt Ryan with a new contract to extend beyond the two years remaining on his current deal, NFL.coms Jason LaCanfora reported during this weekends Scouting Combine.
The Baltimore Ravens are starting to work on an extension for quarterback Joe Flacco.
Flacco has one year remaining on his current contract. Ryan has two on his.
Jay Cutler has this season and next remaining on the extended contract he and the Bears worked out in 2009 after his trade to Chicago from Denver. He had more than two years left at the time of that extension.
The Bears with finance head Cliff Stein have a solid history of working out contract details well in advance of last-minute pressure. They have done it with the likes of Brian Urlacher, are expected to look again at adding time and money to Lance Briggs contract now that it has two years and not three remaining.
And with Cutler securely established as the franchise quarterback at age 29, and no one yet in the pipeline or on the depth chart in line to replace him, expect Cutler to be close behind or along with Flacco and Ryan getting new paper as early as next season. His 2009 extension was done in-season, as were those of Earl Bennett, Roberto Garza, Patrick Mannelly and Edwin Williams recently.
Cutler is unlikely to finish the 2012 season without a contract that makes him a Chicago Bear possibly for the foreseeable rest of his career.
The Bears went into the 2017 offseason with a clear plan to make changes, presumably positive ones, at the quarterback position. The idea was and always is to improve the quality of players at this or any position.
With the Bears agreeing to terms with former Jet/Eagle/Bronco/Cowboy Mark Sanchez, as first reported by NFL.com's Ian Rapaport, GM Ryan Pace and the organization are addressing the quantity aspect of the position, if not necessarily the quality. And that should not be dismissed.
Sanchez fits the template of a Brian Griese, Jason Campbell and even Josh McCown, veterans with less than auspicious resumes' but with more a David Fales or Caleb Hanie had brought to previous rosters. He gives the Bears a third quarterback under contract; expect another to be added before training camp, most likely through the draft next month.
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It really does not matter that Sanchez, the No. 5 overall pick of the 2009 draft, could not beat out Trevor Siemian in Denver two years ago or Dak Prescott in Dallas last season (while Prescott was still an unknown backup to Tony Romo). The Bears before Thursday had just Mike Glennon and Connor Shaw under contract, and teams typically go into training camps with four passers, if for no other reason than to have arms to spread drill work around.
But Sanchez, whose career began with trips to the AFC Championship game his first two seasons in the NFL, represents the kind of backup that teams crave, irrespective of any journeyman status they might have. Sanchez is 30, whose teams have gone 37-35 in his starts, and has experienced winning, albeit less and less as his career has played out.
Not that the comparison is particularly notable, but Mark Sanchez or Matt Barkley? If Sanchez somehow surprises perhaps even himself and challenges Glennon, the Bears and Glennon are the better for it.
Would the Bears consider selecting DeShone Kizer with the No. 3 pick in the upcoming draft?
At what point in the draft should they consider taking a signal caller?
Does it make sense for Ryan Pace and the Bears to take at least one quarterback in every draft?
We answer those questions in the video above in the latest SportsTalk Live segment.