Chicago, Trestman good fit for Cutler

January, 2, 2014
Jan 2
12:38
PM ET
Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports Jay Cutler agreed to a seven-year contract with the Bears on Thursday.
Four days after losing in Week 17 to miss the playoffs, the Chicago Bears have re-signed Jay Cutler to a seven-year deal.

In only five years in Chicago, Cutler has already put up some of the most prolific passing numbers in franchise history. His 14,913 passing yards and 1,258 completions are already franchise records, and his 101 touchdown passes are second behind Sid Luckman’s 137.

But it hasn’t all been positive. In his first season with the Bears, Cutler threw 26 interceptions. The only player in franchise history to throw more was Sid Luckman (31 in 1947).

During his five seasons in Chicago, Cutler has thrown interceptions on 3.6 percent of his passes. Only Mark Sanchez and Ryan Fitzpatrick have been picked off more frequently in that span.

Part of his problem was staying upright. From 2009 to 2012, the Bears allowed 184 sacks. Only the Arizona Cardinals allowed more.

The offensive line was much improved this season, allowing only 30 sacks. That was tied for fourth-fewest in the league.

Cutler took well to Marc Trestman’s new offense. His average throw was nearly a yard shorter and he threw far fewer passes to his wide receivers. That resulted in an increase of 4.3 percentage points in his completion percentage.

He posted a 66.4 Total QBR this season, his highest in five seasons in Chicago. In eight seasons in the NFL, only his 72.0 QBR in 2008 was higher.

Another good reason for Cutler to stay in Chicago is the Bears supporting cast of Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall.

Forte was third in the NFL in yards from scrimmage in 2013. Jeffery and Marshall became the second pair of Bears teammates to record 1,000 receiving yards in the same season, joining Jeff Graham and Curtis Conway in 1995.

During his career, Cutler’s numbers are almost the definition of league average. Among 33 qualified quarterbacks, his winning percentage, Total QBR, passing yards per game and touchdown-to-interception ratio all rank between 14th and 23rd.

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