"I'm not gonna take anything personally," Cutler said. "If they want to franchise me, I'm gonna feel good about the situation we're in. We're gonna be in our second year of the offense with these guys. We're gonna be better. I'm gonna be better. So it's not personal. It's business."
Cutler has endured an injury-plagued season with the Bears, sitting out with a groin injury and high ankle sprain that has caused him to miss two full games and parts of two others. If Chicago decides to slap the franchise tag on the Santa Claus, Ind. native, he will receive a one-year deal around $16.2 million.
Cutler has one of the strongest arms in football, but the question remains whether he can win the Super Bowl. Since being drafted in 2006 with the 11th overall pick by the Denver Broncos, Cutler has only won a single playoff game.
Still, Cutler is one of the most talented throwers in the game and has expressed his strong desire to stay in the Windy City, per ESPN:
"I've talked about it with my agent [Bus Cook]. Some of the guys on the team, we've talked about it. So the longer we can stay together as a group, the better we're gonna be."
At 6-5, Chicago is tied for the NFC North lead with the Detroit Lions.
"It doesn't help," Cutler said of when asked how his injuries might affect his prospects for securing a long-term deal. "I've thought about it vaguely. It obviously doesn't help the situation. It never does. In this business, availability is the No. 1 priority. That's what I tell some of these young guys. You can be a good player.
You can have all these attributes. But if you're not available each Sunday, if you're not there for them to put you in, it doesn't matter. That'll get you kicked out of this league faster than getting in trouble off the field, with injuries, and just not being able to play on Sunday. So it doesn't help. But hopefully we can get back for this last run and play well and make a run at it."