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Ex-Bear Brian Urlacher says Jay Cutler elite in pay, not performance

Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler is paid to be an elite quarterback, but former teammate Brian Urlacher says he hasn't performed at that level.
Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler is paid to be an elite quarterback, but former teammate Brian Urlacher says he hasn’t performed at that level.
(David Goldman / Associated Press)

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been sacked 17 times by opponents but the hits just keep coming off the field.

On Wednesday, retired linebacker Brian Urlacher joined the party and took a shot at his former teammate.

“Financially, he is one of the elite guys in the NFL ... he just hasn’t produced like an elite quarterback,” Urlacher told a Chicago radio station.

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Cutler is set to make a league-high $22.5 million this season after signing a seven-year, $126.7-million contract extension with Chicago in January.

“You look at the Bradys, the Mannings, the Rodgers, the Brees, those guys win every year, even with no one around them,” Urlacher said. "[Aaron] Rodgers has no offensive line. He wins. [Tom] Brady has no receivers. He wins.

“And you look at Jay. He’s got Brandon [Marshall], Alshon [Jeffery], Matt [Forte], this great offensive line, Martellus Bennett, and they can’t seem to put it together, for some reason. I’m not sure if that’s his fault, but for some reason they just can’t figure it out.”

Chicago (3-4) hasn’t won a game at home this season and following the Bears’ 27-14 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, Marshall reportedly went off on Cutler, who had a pass intercepted and lost a fumble, in the locker room.

“It’s unacceptable. We’re 3-4. It’s halfways into the season,” Marshall said after the game. “It’s unacceptable. Want me to say it again? Unacceptable.”

Cutler has a win-loss record of 43-32 since joining Chicago in 2009, but the Bears last made the postseason in 2010 only to be eliminated in the conference championship by their longtime rival the Green Bay Packers after Cutler left the game with a torn MCL. He was criticized at the time for lacking toughness and heart to play through the injury.

Cutler hasn’t been all bad though this season. He’s completed the fourth most passes (177), the tied for fifth most touchdowns (14) and has thrown for the sixth most yards (1,866). On the other hand, he’s tied for third in interceptions (7) and tied for fourth in sacks (17), and he’s had five fumbles.

After cooling off a bit, on Wednesday Marshall later put his relationship with Cutler in perspective.

“I have a really nice condo, and guess what: Jay Cutler built that condo. We’re great. We’re great,” Marshall said.

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme


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