Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been under constant fire since signing his seven-year, $126.7 million contract extension last year. Despite setting career highs in completion percentage (66.0) and touchdowns (28) in 2014, the Bears finished just 21st in yards per game (327.1) and 23rd in points (19.9) for a disappointing 5-11 record. With a new regime in place in head coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace, Cutler's position with the team is shaky at best.
Adding to that comes a list from ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando detailing the best and worst contracts (from a team perspective) for starting QBs. Included in the list are rankings among the 18 QBs for average money per year (APY), true guarantees and three-year APY. Last place is none other than Cutler's deal.
"Contract ranks: 9th APY, 14th true guarantee, 9th three-year APY
"Three-year Total QBR: 56.0 (14th)
"Coaches brought in to help Cutler keep getting fired. Meanwhile, Cutler keeps cashing fat checks. Although the true guarantees in his deal were reasonable on paper, the Bears became accountable for another $25 million after Cutler remained on the roster long enough for injury-only guarantees to become fully guaranteed. The new coaching staff is not going to coddle Cutler the way previous ones sometimes did. Perhaps that will effect positive change."
Admittedly, Cutler had some poor luck when it came to drops by his receivers in 2014. But that doesn't change the fact that he is paid as a top ten QB despite having just one post-season victory in his career. If he thrives in Fox's new, more conservative offensive system then this ranking will likely be moot by the end of the season. But that's a big if at the moment.