CHICAGO (AP) ‚ The Chicago Bears and quarterback Jay Cutler have agreed on a two-year contract extension that runs through the 2013 season.
A person familiar with the negotiations said the deal includes approximately $20 million guaranteed and roughly $30 million in new money. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the terms were not released.
"Thanks to the Bears, the McCaskey family and all the Bears fans for the support," Cutler wrote Tuesday night on his Twitter page.
Acquired in a blockbuster trade from Denver in the offseason, the Pro Bowl quarterback has completed 110 of 172 passes with 1,201 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions while leading Chicago to a 3-2 record. With a 64.0 completion rate and 240.2 yards passing per game, he is on pace to set club single-season records.
Considered to be one of the Bears' best quarterbacks since Sid Luckman, Cutler got picked off four times in the season-opening loss at Green Bay but has since lived up to his billing. He led the Bears to back-to-back comeback wins over Pittsburgh and Seattle the next two weeks while completing more than 70 percent of his passes and has nine touchdowns with three interceptions over the past four games.
Drafted 11th overall by Denver in 2006, Cutler has thrown for 10,225 yards, 64 touchdowns and 44 interceptions while completing 872 of 1,392 passes.
He made his first Pro Bowl last season while setting a Broncos record with 4,526 yards, but a falling out with new coach Josh McDaniels ultimately led to the trade to Chicago. In return, the Broncos got quarterback Kyle Orton along with two first-round draft picks and a third-rounder.
Cutler's relationship with the Broncos started to sour when they fired Mike Shanahan, and he wasn't happy when his position coach, Jeremy Bates, left for Southern California.
Just when things were starting to smooth out, Cutler found out in late February that the Broncos were trying to trade him to Tampa Bay in a three-way deal that would have sent Matt Cassel from New England to Denver.
Cutler and his agent didn't think McDaniels was up front with them about the trade talks and asked to be dealt; McDaniels, however, insisted he informed Cutler the morning of those discussions.
Either way, the ill will escalated.
Cutler stopped returning calls from the Broncos and they eventually dealt him in April.
In Chicago, there have been some rough moments despite the warm welcome from the fan base.
When he reported to training camp, Cutler and linebacker Brian Urlacher found themselves denying reports of a rift. Devin Hester was also offended by comments Cutler made after the first preseason game, when the receiver failed to break up an interception against Buffalo.
Otherwise, teammates and coaches have staunchly defended Cutler.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
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