Well, that was fast.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler signed a new seven-year $126.7 Million dollar deal in January and the team already approached him to restructure.
Usually a deal is re-worked when the team needs to clear a little space, and the Bears have done just that all offseason. There has been several players cut from the team over the last few months, including Julius Peppers and Devin Hester- but the Bears wanted a little more wiggle room when they adjusted the numbers on Cutler’s deal.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Ten days into free agency, the Bears went to the contract of Jay Cutler to create an additional $4 million in salary-cap room for 2014.
The Bears restructured Cutler’s contract Friday, converting $5 million of his $22.5 million base salary for next season into a signing bonus.
Cutler was signed to a seven-year, $126.7 million contract in January, a deal that includes $54 million guaranteed and is worth $85 million over the first five years. The contract, like the others the Bears executed near the end of last season, included an “automatic conversion” clause that allows the team to create salary-cap flexibility on an as-needed basis, a bookkeeping exercise that does not impact how much Cutler earns
The question worth wondering is what general managerPhil Emery will do with the additional cap space. According to an NFL source, the Bears have $10.46 million in cap room after the restructure of Cutler and last week’s release of wide receiver Earl Bennett.
It’s a little odd to see a deal done and re-done within a matter of months, but the team protected themselves with the clause that allows them to do so, at will, as long as the bottom dollar remains the same. It’s surprising to me that teams can re-work deals like this to create a ton of space when there are numerologists and general managers that do tons of simulations to try to avoid any hiccups that should arise.
Apparently the Bears didn’t do too much scenarios as they has to pull the wallet out a little faster than they probably would have liked.
Cutler remains the franchise quarterback in Chicago regardless of how the money is divided out.