Jay Cutler contract: Bears QB extended through 2020

Jonathan Daniel

Chicago has laid to rest any questions about its starting quarterback going forward.

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The Chicago Bears and quarterback Jay Cutler have agreed to a seven-year contract extension, keeping the signal-caller with the team through 2020, the team announced Thursday morning.

The Bears also signed defensive back Tim Jennings and offensive lineman Matt Slauson to contracts, per the team's official twitter. Terms of all three deals are not available yet.

The average salary over the first three years of Cutler's deal stands at $18 million, according to Fox Sports'  Alex Marvez.

There had been speculation about whether Cutler would move on from the Bears, the team he grew up rooting for in his hometown of Santa Claus, Indiana. Talk surfaced last offseason of an extension, but new head coach Marc Trestman did not want to give out the deal without first seeing Cutler in his offense.

Trestman must be satisfied, as Cutler will be with the Bears until he's 37 years old, if he lasts for the duration of the contract. Of course, the important thing for the Bears is how much guaranteed money Cutler gets and when.

"It works for both parties, general manager Phil Emery said at a Thursday press conference, according to Kevin Fishbain of Shaw Media. "It rewards Jay and it helps the team continue to build a championship-level team."

Cutler said he plans to bring a Super Bowl trophy to Chicago during extended stay.

"Hopefully we can win some championships. And that's what it's all about. If we look back 20 years from now and say 'hey I was here 12 years and didn't win a championship' we're going to be disappointed."

The Bears went 8-8 in 2013, missing the playoffs on a last-minute Week 17 loss to the Packers. Cutler tossed 19 touchdowns against 12 interceptions this season while throwing for 2,621 yards.

This season, Cutler was limited to only 11 games because of injuries, including a high-ankle sprain. Emery said he looked at Cutler's durability issues "very hard" when evaluating the deal, reports Brad Briggs of the Chicago Tribune.

Emery also said the team is still interested in re-signing veteran backup Josh McCown, who won three games as a starter this season with Cutler injured.

"[We] would love to have Josh back. He has earned the right through his play to have choices."

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