The Chicago Bears will allow Jay Cutler to play out the final year of his contract without an extension, general manager Phil Emery told reporters on Wednesday. Cutler is entering the final year of his contract, and Emery said the team will not sign anyone to a contract extension this summer. That includes their starting quarterback, who could become a free agent next offseason.
There were talks of Cutler signing an extension earlier this offseason, but that reportedly died when the Bears hired Marc Trestman. The team wanted to see how Cutler and Trestman worked together, and the new head coach wanted to evaluate the quarterback himself, before they committed any more money to him.
If the Bears want to retain Cutler, but cannot agree to a contract extension before free agency opens, they could use the franchise tag on him. If the salary cap remains the same, the franchise tag would guarantee Cutler $15.448 million in 2014, but that number would be higher of the cap increases.