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A humorous hypothetical conversation about winning the lottery Monday turned into a revelation of selflessness by quarterback Jay Cutler regarding his willingness to work with the Chicago Bears this offseason when serious negotiations begin for a new contract.
With a year left on a five-year deal that pays $8.47 million in 2013, Cutler said he'd consider taking a "hometown discount" to remain with the Bears because less money in a contract would mean more flexibility for the team in its efforts to acquire talent.
"I'm not gonna try to break the bank," Cutler said on ESPN 1000's "The Jay Cutler Show."
The discussion came as a result of Cutler's co-host Tom Waddle suggesting the quarterback take a veteran-minimum type of salary in his new deal.
"What kind of discount we talkin'?" Cutler asked.
Waddle replied, "50 percent off."
"Ah, c'mon," Cutler said, laughing. "We can talk like 5 or 10 (percent off), but 50? This isn't a going-out-of-business sale."
After the jokes, Cutler revealed he's thought about taking less money in a new deal because as a seven-year veteran, the quarterback has already earned plenty of money.
"I want to be on a successful team, and I know that paying one or two or three players premium (salaries) hurts your chances of being able to bring in extra talent," Cutler said. "So when we get there, we'll figure it out."
Cutler said he and receiver Brandon Marshall discussed how the desire to win eventually takes precedence over salary demands. Cutler and Marshall connected 10 times for 165 yards Sunday in the club's overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Apparently Cutler wants to ensure he and Marshall remain together for years to come.
"I don't think I should even be saying stuff like this. I'm killing myself right now," Cutler joked. "I'm breaking the bank. Let's go back; rewind. (Agent) Bus (Cook) is gonna text me (saying), 'What are you doing right now?'"
According to a source close to Cutler, the sides haven't even started preliminary discussions on a new contract for the quarterback. General manager Phil Emery said in October that the team's preference is to engage in negotiations during the offseason.
Cutler would also prefer to discuss a new contract at the end of the season as opposed to now.
"You get to a point in your career I think it's not even about money," Cutler said. "You're secure. You want to win Super Bowls."