Bears GM non-committal on Jay Cutler franchise tag

Michael Thomas

With Josh McCown playing well in his absence, an injured Cutler may be riding out his last weeks in Chicago.

Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery has suggested that he does not plan on placing the franchise tag on Jay Cutler, ramping up speculation that the veteran quarterback could be playing his last season in Chicago, according to NFL.com.

With the 30-year-old Cutler's contract expiring at the conclussion of 2013, some have suggested the Bears would tag him in order to keep a viable passer on hand while they groom a quarterback of the future.

But during a fan Q&A on the team's official website, Emery appeared adamantly opposed to the tag:

With the franchise tag being so high for the quarterback position, to use it and not sign the individual to a long-term deal hurts the team because you lose the ability to prorate the amount of guaranteed salary over the length of the contract.

Proration lowers the salary cap number in relation to that player's contract. Obviously the lower the number in relation to the salary cap, the more players you can sign to help your team reach its goals.

NFL media's Albert Breer has projected the 2014 quarterback franchise tag to be worth $16.2 million, money the team could otherwise spend to revamp its aging defense.

Cutler, who suggested last week he was open to being tagged, has played in just eight of 12 games this season, and has missed the last three with a severe high ankle sprain. Backup Josh McCown has played well in his absence, going 3-2 as a starter and posting a passer rating of 103.6, which currently ranks as the second-best in Bears single-season history.

Some believe McCown's success has made Cutler expendable. With a quarterback-heavy draft class approaching in 2014, the Bears may decide to select a franchise quarterback next August and use McCown to bridge the gap.

Cutler's availability for Monday Night Football on Dec. 9 against the Cowboys is still uncertain.

More from SB Nation NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: 5 quarterbacks in the first round

NFL Power Rankings: Saints go marching ... down

Rookie Report: Keenan Allen tops Giovani Bernard

The Post-Mortem: Excuse Philip Rivers for having manners, jerkwad

Debrief: How I learned to love the Jaguars and Browns

In This Article

Teams
Players
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.