cutler throw2

It seems Jay Cutler’s new contract isn’t nearly the albatross it was made out to be by some right after word of his inking broke.

When Cutler signed what was officially a seven-year extension worth $126.7 million last Thursday, I begged you at the time to focus on one number and only one number: the guaranteed money, which is $54 million. That’s the only number that ever matters in any NFL contract, but even more so in these massive QB deals. The annual base salary still matters somewhat because it tells you just how front-end loaded the deal is, but the total length of the contract doesn’t matter at all even a little bit.

Yet the public at large sees that number — SEVEN YEARS — and dies, even though every offseason (like, say, probably soon with Mark Sanchez, to name just one) we’re reminded that players can be cut at any time, and the motivation to release an under-performing product is much higher when there’s no guaranteed money left on their deal. Therefore, the guaranteed portion is the contract. Cool? Cool.

That’s even more true with Cutler. As Tom Pelissero of USA Today reported yesterday while he relayed the specific financial details, Cutler didn’t receive a signing bonus to go along with his new years, making the contract really a three-year deal worth $54 million. After that the Bears have two choices: they can cut him at no cost since all the guaranteed money has been paid, or if they’re still happy with his performance, there’s essentially four option years left that round out the contract to seven years.

From Pelissero, and again with feeling…

None of the money in the deal’s last four years — base salaries of $12.5 million in 2017, $13.5 million in 2018, $17.5 million in 2019 and $19.2 million in 2020, plus $2.5 million in per-game roster bonuses each season — is guaranteed.

What we’re left with then is a Bears team that just came one win shy of making the playoffs even while Cutler missed five games (and even while defensive anchor Lance Briggs missed significant time too) which has security at the most important offensive position with an average investment as dictated by the current quarterback market. Even better, they’ve made that investment for a manageable term, while embedding the option to lengthen their Cutler marriage, which is wise considering his opposing promise and inconsistency.

Well played.

More notes, reading, stray thoughts, and other such randomness

So you’re telling me that spending $4 million for a 30-second ad isn’t the greatest investment?

This isn’t new knowledge, just a reminder I suppose with the greatest day in the universe now just a few weeks away: the Super Bowl is far more than just a football game.

I mean, to you and I it’s a football game, because we quite enjoy football. But to everyone else it’s a social event, and more importantly, the entire week is a business event. Shortly you’ll start to see Super Bowl commercials teased and promoted, which has become an increasingly common practice over the past few years as companies aim to maximize whatever profit they hoped to achieve from an ad spot that cost them all the money.

Of course, it also helps when Internet heroes do things like this with a portion of a commercial which is, um, visually appealing to some (see you in five hours)…

But hey, you should probably sit down for this, though I have no idea why you were standing. It turns out those expensive Super Bowl commercials you’re about to see and hear so much about aren’t really a great investment.

From Ad Age:

Indeed, the $4 million advertisers spend for a 30-second Big Game ad actually buys a much bigger chance that their ads won’t work, according to the Tucson, Ariz.-based firm. In general, Communicus has found about 60% of ads it tests don’t increase purchase or purchase intent.

If I’m investing that many Benjamins, I’d much rather be on the other side of a 60/40 split. Then again, I’m a mere peon, and not a massive corporation.

On Michael Vick: Let it go

This will never happen as long as our Earth still exists, and Michael Vick lives on it.

But it’s my wish that although forgiveness certainly isn’t necessary if that’s not to your liking, someday even the most devout animal lovers should acknowledge that Vick was indeed convicted of his awful and disgusting dogfighting crime. Then as is the normal procedure in our society, he served time for said crime (nearly two years), which resulted in crippling debt, and of a $37 million signing bonus he was given by the Falcons, he had to repay $19.97 million of it. During his sentence he was also suspended from the NFL for two years.

None of this is shocking to you, since it all went down six years ago. In fact, I feel as though I’m insulting you just by repeating those basic details. Unfortunately, Juliet Macur of the New York Times does not share that feeling.

With the Eagles’ season over, Vick is now counting down the days until he’s offically a free agent. He’s been open about the fact that he’d like a chance to be a starter again somewhere. Despite his age and brittleness, at the very least he’ll likely get an opportunity to compete for a job in camp, probably with a team that drafted a young quarterback and wants an experienced veteran to be a bridge to the future.

But earlier this week Macur felt it necessary to rehash the past while for reasons only she knows making reference to the cocoa butter lotion and baby oil in Vick’s locker (IT’S ALL AN ACT GUYS). Because of that past, she writes, Vick shouldn’t be given another chance:

If the Eagles cut him loose this off-season, teams considering giving him a third chance in the N.F.L. should be required to look past his strong left arm, his nimble feet and his potentially cost-effective upside.

They should remember this: Vick was the mastermind behind his dogfighting operation. He bankrolled it, gave it a home base, encouraged it.

We all know what Vick did, we all know the punishment he received, and if you believe that a function of the prison system is to rehabilitate those inside (you should), then you also know that being productive and employed is a very good thing for a formerly troubled person. I hear Michael Vick is good at football, and if someone still wants to pay him to play football in some capacity, they should do that.

While pursuing that possibility they should evaluate his skill as they would with any free agent, and his health, two things that are vital to a hypothetical front office set to spend a sizable wad of cash. A crime from the past for which time has been served has no place in that evaluation.


Whew, let’s end with something happier. I do not like the Jaguars because I like winning. But I do like fun, and I like zip lines.