The franchise hope of the Bears is that they will have a major financial decision to make coming out of the 2013 season regarding whether and how much to pay quarterback Jay Cutler.
The New Orleans Saints faced that decision with quarterback Drew Brees last July and made it to the level of $100 million over five seasons, with $60 million of the deal guaranteed.
It took Brees winning a Super Bowl to attain that pay grade. The Bears have won 31 of the 44 games that Cutler has played over the past three-plus seasons and the unofficial assessment is that this will tip the Phil Emery scales in Cutler’s favor.
As far as what Cutler needs to “become” Brees, Cutler’s take was pretty simple:
“Time,” he said. “Being with Marc [Trestman] and being with these guys for a while and just feeling comfortable in what we’re doing. We’re heading in that direction. It’s just we’re four games into this and [Brees] is five, six or whatever how many years he is with Sean [Payton, Saints coach].”
But Lovie Smith was fired with a winning record for missing playoffs. At this point Cutler has gone to the postseason just once in seven seasons, including his three in Denver, and he has fewer playoff wins (one) than Rex Grossman (two).
“Playoffs” get paid very well. “Super Bowls” get paid very, very well:
|Quarterback||Total (M)||Avg. (M)||Playoffs/5 yrs|
* won Super Bowl(s)
** three seasons 10+ games
*** injured, played 10 games 2011
Trestman: “It doesn’t matter”
Trestman predictably was not inclined to indulge in comparisons, except to put Cutler’s four-turnover Detroit game in Brees-ian terms, or forecasting with respect to his quarterback’s upside.
“I’m not going to go there,” Trestman said. “We’re just trying to get better every day with [Cutler]. Drew Brees doesn’t have a perfect game every week either. He’s played in an offense for a very long time with the same people around him, which has enhanced his ability to be productive, but I’m not going to compare Jay to Drew Brees or anyone else.
“What we saw the first three games is the ability to play at a reasonably consistent level and signs that we can get better. That’s what we’re working on here. We’re not trying to make long-term hypothetical observations…. I just don’t think it matters. I think what’s important is how are we going to play on Sunday and can we play consistently and take care of the football at a highly efficient level, and that’s’ what we’re trying to get done this week. Then in the next 12 weeks or whatever it is, I think we can look back and do some kind of assessment.”