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Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said it would be hard "to turn down money," but as he considers signing a potential contract extension, he ultimately wants "to be on a winning team."
Asked during the "Jay Cutler Show" on ESPN 1000 on Monday if how the Bears address the offensive line in the offseason will affect his desire to sign an extension with the team, Cutler said it is a scenario he has pondered before.
"It's interesting. I was just talking to somebody about this a couple of weeks ago. It's hard to turn down money in this league because you never know when it's going to come back around," Cutler said. "You never know what's going to happen with your career, if you're going to get hurt or what's going to happen.
"To turn down money if it's offered to you, it's a tough decision to make. But also I want to be on a winning team, I want to be in a successful offense. Some decisions I've got to make, some decisions the Bears got to make if they want to get it done and when they want to get it done. We'll see."
Cutler has a year left on a five-year deal that pays $8.47 million in 2013. He has said that he doesn't want to discuss an extension with the Bears until after the season, a stance also taken by general manager Phil Emery.
"All this stuff is in the back of my mind. We've got three games to go," said Cutler, whose Bears have lost four of five since starting the season 7-1. "There's much more important things ahead of us before that is even a topic of conversation."
The play of the Bears' offensive line has been an issue for most of Cutler's tenure in Chicago. He has been sacked 31 times this season, good for fifth in the NFL, and was sacked an NFL-high 52 times in 2010. He missed a game this season with a concussion and left the Bears' 21-14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings early after suffering a neck injury.
Cutler said he doesn't know what to expect in regard to an extension from Emery, who is in his first season as Bears GM.
"I don't know. I don't know how they feel about me and where they see the franchise going," Cutler said. "You get a new GM in and we'll see how it goes. He's got a lot of tough decisions coming forward, but if there is anyone who's going to make the right ones it's him. He's a grinder and he's got the best interests of this club."
Last week Cutler said he would be willing to take 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.
It didn't take long for Cutler to hear from his agent, Bus Cook, about that comment.
"He texted me and was like 'I don't think that's a good idea,'" Cutler said.