Bears President Phillips: Shorter-term contracts will be the norm

Bears President Phillips: Shorter-term contracts will be the norm
November 21, 2013, 11:45 am
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The Bears have about half of a roster under contract beyond this season, but team President Ted Phillips not only evinced no concern over the situation, but noted that a projected flat salary cap over the next several years will make this a more common situation around the NFL.

Phillips, talking with “The Mully and Hanley Show” on WSCR-AM on Thursday morning, noted that the spate of short-term/one-year deals like those of linebackers James Anderson and D.J. Williams and guard Matt Slauson last offseason will become something of a norm. And that was not necessarily a bad thing, at least for the teams.

The situation, which put the likes of GM Phil Emery in the position of playing fantasy football with real money, allows teams to fine-tune rosters with productive players, Phillips said.

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That also includes positions like quarterback, where both Jay Cutler and Josh McCown will be coming out of contract after this season.

“I think there’s going to be a time to talk about contracts, but it’s not now, for Jay or anyone else,” Phillips said. “We’re obviously aware of the number of players that we have whose contracts are expired. We’ll deal with that accordingly.”

As to what the organization thinks of Cutler as its franchise quarterback, Phillips echoed sentiments expressed at various times by Emery and coach Marc Trestman.

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Unless everyone is laying down a smokescreen, the organization will have him as its starting quarterback in 2014, one way (multi-year deal) or the other (franchise tag).

“When Jay was playing, he did a really good job, was improving every week,” Phillips said, then added the ultimate prerequisite: "We were winning. We’re happy to have him and we’re happy to have Josh as his backup. There's not a lot of teams in the league that can say they have a starting quarterback who they believe in and then a backup who can win football games when needed.”