NFC North: Cornelius Washington

Mailbag: Cutler's future with Bears

December, 6, 2013
Here is this week's edition of the mailbag:

1. JD, what is your best guess for what the Bears do with Jay Cutler? Franchise tag, long-term deal or let him walk? Thank you for the weekly mailbag posting. Happy Holidays. -- Marcus, Loves Park, Ill.

My best guess is that Cutler signs a new deal with the Bears in the offseason. My sense is the Bears have already decided that Cutler is their guy -- even though Monday he will miss his fifth game due to injury in 2013 -- and will look to finalize a contract with him in next couple of months. The new trend in the NFL is for free-agent players to sign shorter deals for as much guaranteed money as possible. So it wouldn't surprise me if the Bears and Cutler eventually ink a three-, or maybe four-year contract somewhere north of $16 million per season. The franchise tag is always a negotiating tool for a team to use if the negotiations fall apart, but in this case, I think the scenario of Cutler receiving a new multi-year contract is the most likely.


Alex, I can assure you Cade McNown did not start for the Bears at quarterback last Sunday in the Metrodome. Maybe your television reception is a little fuzzy living that far up north. Now if you're taking about Josh McCown, he struggled at times in the 23-20 loss to the Vikings. Let's just say it wasn't his best performance. But for all the people criticizing McCown for his lack of arm strength or the methodical manner in which he guides the offense down the field, let me ask you this question: how many NFL general managers would love to have a backup quarterback on their roster, who in six appearances is capable of completing 120 of 184 passes for 1,461 yards, nine touchdowns, one interception for a passer-rating of 103.6? Without the benefit of a scientific poll, I'd say most league executives would find McCown's contributions this year to be acceptable. Not to mention the fact that he almost brought the Bears back versus Washington and Detroit, and had the team up 20-10 versus the Vikings in the second half. This is not about McCown being the Bears' quarterback of the future. This is about acknowledging that an incredible job he's done so far in relief of Cutler. McCown is a backup quarterback. But he's a very good one, and the Bears are lucky to have him.

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CHICAGO – Defensive starters for the Chicago Bears in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns:

LE – Cornelius Washington
DT – Christian Tupou
NT – Zach Minter
RE – Aston Whiteside
WLB – Khaseem Greene
MLB – Blake Costanzo
SLB – J.T. Thomas
LCB – C.J. Wilson
RCB – Demontre Hurst
SS – Brandon Hardin
FS – Anthony Walters
We're Black and Blue All Over:

The Chicago Bears never mess around when it comes to signing their draft picks, and this week they became the NFL's first team to start locking up members of its 2013 draft class. Fifth-round pick Jordan Mills and sixth-round pick Cornelius Washington both agreed to terms Wednesday, as Jeff Dickerson of points out.

There is no rush to sign draft picks at this time of year because NFL rules allow them to participate in offseason workouts even before they have a contract. And the NFL's current rookie scale has left less room for negotiating and made rookie deals more routine as training camp approaches.

Still, the Bears prefer to get their deals done early rather than risk market influence from other teams' deals later in the process. The players' incentive is to get their signing bonus earlier.

Continuing around the NFC North:
  • Rookie free agent P.J. Lonergan, a center from LSU, is a player worth watching in the Bears' offseason practices. Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times explains.
  • The Bears can expect some post-draft tweaks to their scouting department, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
  • New Detroit Lions safety Glover Quin wants to gain the respect of teammates before attempting to step forward as a leader, writes Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News.
  • The Lions are expecting relatively immediate impact from their draft class, according to Anwar S. Richardson of
  • The Lions were focused on acquiring and drafting long pass-rushers, measured in terms of height and arm length, writes Justin Rogers of
  • Former Green Bay Packers cornerback Al Harris has retired as a Packer, notes Jason Wilde of Harris is currently on the coaching staff of the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette profiles former Packers place-kicker Jan Stenerud, the only pure kicker to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Former Packers safety LeRoy Butler said the speech he was going to make to a local church centered around bullying, according to the Press-Gazette. The church canceled the appearance because, Butler said, he tweeted support when NBA player Jason Collins announced he was gay.
  • Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder said he went to the emergency room in January because the bruise in his right elbow returned. There was concern he had compartment syndrome and needed surgery, but ultimately an MRI revealed he did not and that it would heal on its own. Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune provides the transcript of Ponder's revelation.
  • Vikings receiver Greg Childs, who tore the patellar tendons in both knees last summer, is back to running routes but there is no timetable on his return to practice, writes Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
  • Vikings quarterback Joe Webb is doing extra work as a receiver in case the Vikings move his position, according to Tom Pelissero of Matt Cassel will be Ponder's backup this season.