The Chicago Bears signed quarterback Jay Cutler to a 7-year deal worth more than $126 million and includes $54 million in guaranteed money. When you look at what the Bears just gave Cutler for a contract, it brings to mind the contract that Joe Flacco signed last off-season with the Ravens.
So let’s compare the two…
Before I begin, I need to be honest with you. I began to write this article with the mindset that the Bears were idiots and that Cutler was terrible and in no way compared to Flacco. However, after doing my research for this, I honestly had to change my whole thought process. You’ll see why, as you read.
In 8 seasons, Cutler has a QB rating of 84.6 and has thrown 112 INTs and 155 TDs in 104 games. He’s only gone to the playoffs once. Cutler has 16 fourth quarter comebacks and 20 game-winning drives.
In 6 seasons, Flacco has a QB rating of 83.7 and has thrown 78 INTs and 121 TDs in 96 games. He’s gone to the playoffs 5 times and won the Super Bowl once. Flacco has 12 fourth quarter comebacks and 19 game-winning drives.
So in 8 less games (but 2 seasons less), Flacco has 34 less INTS and 34 less TDs. In 8 more games, Cutler has 4 more fourth quarter comebacks and 1 more game-winning drive.
They are comparable quarterbacks, as they both have played with top defenses and decent run games. Surprisingly, their stats are very comparable. The biggest difference is their success. Flacco’s teams have gone to more playoffs and of course won a Super Bowl.
Flacco signed a 6-year deal worth $120.6 million with $52 million guaranteed. But that deal effectively is a 3-year deal with $62 million. Flacco and the Ravens will then likely restructure the deal in 2015.
So if you were like me when you heard about Cutler’s deal, you thought it was a bad deal. But then again, it’s not about if it’s a “good deal” or not for NFL teams. It’s all about what the market is for the player.
The deal that Flacco signed set the market for quarterbacks. It set up Aaron Rodgers to sign a 5-year $110 million contract, and Matt Ryan to get a 5-year extension for $103.75 million. So when the Bears decided that re-signing Cutler was a priority, they had to consider market rate. And whether we like to talk about that kind of money or not, Cutler’s stats prove that he’s in line to make similar money to Flacco and Ryan. And just like Flacco won’t see all 6 years of his deal, Cutler won’t see all 7 years of his deal.
I’m still not sure that I like the deal for the Bears, but they need a quarterback and at least they know what they are getting with Cutler. They could draft a QB but as history has taught us that exercise can be a crapshoot.
Maybe you’d get Russell Wilson.
But then again maybe you’d get Ryan Leaf or Matt Leinart or Rick Maier.
The Bears are paying for a proven commodity.
And a proven commodity comes at a price.