Jay Cutler receives 7-year deal

One of the guys who tries to keep Cutler upright was in full support of the new deal.

"I couldn't be more happy about having solidified somebody at that position," guard Kyle Long said on ESPN Radio in Chicago. "Such a tremendous player and smart guy and that's the guy who's gonna take us where we need to go."

Now that Cutler has his deal, he's looking toward the future and possibly finishing his career with the Bears.

"I don't think that part of it has set in yet. That will set in over the next month or so," Cutler said. "I think we're all kind of caught up in just the excitement of being here and looking towards the future. Like you said, to be here for possibly 10, 12 years, hopefully we can win some championships. That's what it's all about.

"If we look back 20 years from now and say, 'Hey, I was here 12 years and we didn't win a championship,' we're gonna be disappointed, I'm gonna be disappointed by it, and I think the rest of the organization is gonna be disappointed. So that's what we have to start working towards starting tomorrow. I know the coaches will, I will and the rest of the players will."

Before signing the deal, Cutler ranked 11th among quarterbacks in terms of average salary at $14,718,500. Players comparable to Cutler, such as Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub, were averaging more in salary, which means Cutler likely received a contract at the very least in line with those of his peers.

With Jennings, Emery discussed "rewarding excellence" for a veteran who took on the responsibilities of a No. 1 cornerback after  Charles Tillman was lost for the season with a torn triceps. Jennings earned Pro Bowl recognition in 2012 and was recently named to the All-NFC North team. He has 13 interceptions over the past two seasons, second in the NFL to Seattle's Richard Sherman. Jennings also forced two fumbles and recovered a third. 

Jennings acknowledged he had some anxiety playing in the final year of his contract.

"I was lost in the dark, not knowing what was gonna happen," he said. "I've been through this process before; didn't work out well for me, and it kind of lingers [in] your mind. My agent did a great job of keeping me out of the loop.

"I just wanted to focus on football and help this team win as much as I could. I'm blessed for it to happen the way it did of me not having to see what was out there. There was no question if I had the opportunity to stay here and they wanted me, it was a no-brainer."

Slauson joined the Bears this past spring on a one-year contract to bolster what had been a porous offensive line in recent years. Emery discussed Slauson's physicality and leadership while also calling him a key part of the group's dramatic improvement in 2013.

Chicago surrendered 30 sacks in 2013, 14 fewer than it did in 2012. With Slauson leading the way on inside runs, along with help from rookie Kyle Long, veteran running back  Matt Forte finished with career highs in rushing yards (1,339) and rushing touchdowns (nine).

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