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Jay Cutler contract: New deal reportedly worth $126 million with $54 million guaranteed

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Cutler signed for a nice chunk of change on Thursday. SB Nation 2014 NFL Playoff Coverage

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (2:11 p.m. ET): Cutler's seven-year deal will guarantee $54 million of the $126 million in it, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.

Jay Cutler's new seven-year contract with the Chicago Bears will reportedly average $18 million per season over the first three years, according to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports. The quarterback agreed to a new deal Thursday. It could keep Cutler with the Bears past his 37th birthday.

Cutler is coming off a solid season as the Bears' starting quarterback that saw him finish with the second-best completion percentage of his career. Missing several games due to an ankle injury probably helped keep that number high while limiting his yards and touchdowns compared to previous seasons.

It wasn't enough, however, to get the Bears into the playoffs for the first time since the 2010 season.

It's a big chunk of money to commit to an oft-criticized player like Cutler, but team officials are apparently confident that they have the right man to lead the Bears forward for the foreseeable future. In five seasons with Chicago, Cutler has become the Bears' all-time leader in completions, attempts, yards and quarterback rating. He's amassed a 39-28 record as a starter and led the team to the playoffs twice.

Cutler's new deal likely lines up very well with some other recent contracts for starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Five other players -- Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo and Tom Brady -- received big contract extensions in 2013, with the contracts averaging $55.2 million in guaranteed money, according to Brian McIntyre. The reported three-year value also is in line with those deals.

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