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Is Jay Cutler worthy of franchise QB money?

Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler

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Updated: December 18, 2013 9:14PM

Is Jay Cutler a franchise quarterback?

That’s the big question Phil Emery will have to decide in the coming months. By now, we all know there are three options:

Slap the franchise tag on him (According to’s Albert Breer, the projected franchise-tag number for a quarterback in 2014 will be $16.2 million.

Sign him to a long-term deal.

Cut ties with Cutler and let him sign elsewhere.

Whatever the outcome, one thing is for sure — next season, he’ll commanding similar money to the top five quarterbacks in the NFL. But do his stats warrant such a thing?

According to, the top-paid quarterbacks in 2013 (based on salary cap hit) are:

Eli Manning, $20,850,000

Matthew Stafford, $17,820,000

Peyton Manning, $17,500,000

Drew Brees, $17,474,000

Tom Brady, $13,800,000

Here’s how Cutler compares to these “franchise” quarterbacks this year (and yes, we know it’s a bit ridiculous to include Eli Manning in here based on his stats, but we have to based on the contract):

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