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GM Phil Emery says no Bears will get extensions during season

BEARS FREE AGENTS-TO-BE

The Bears have 43 players with contracts set to expire after the 2013 season.

TE Kyle Adams

RB Armando Allen

LB James Anderson

WR Joe Anderson

WR Devin Aromashodu

C Taylor Boggs

DB Zackary Bowman

OT Cory Brandon

OL Eben Britton

DT Nate Collins

LB Blake Costanzo

QB Jay Cutler

TE Brody Eldridge

DT Sedrick Ellis

FB Tony Fiammetta

LB Jerry Franklin

C Roberto Garza

K Robbie Gould

CB Kelvin Hayden

KR Devin Hester

DT Corvey Irvin

WR Jerrell Jackson

CB Tim Jennings

LS Patrick Mannelly

DE Turk McBride

QB Josh McCown

DB Sherrick McManis

DT Henry Melton

DE Kyle Moore

S Tom Nelson

TE Fendi Onobun

DT Cheta Ozougwu

OT Jonathan Scott

OG Matt Slauson

S Craig Steltz

CB Charles Tillman

RB Harvey Unga

OT J’Marcus Webb

LB D.J. Williams

OL Edwin Williams

DE Corey Wootton

S Major Wright

S Tom Zbikowski

Video: Brandon Marshall arrives at Bears camp with Segway
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Updated: July 25, 2013 10:44AM



BOURBONNAIS — Bears receiver Brandon Marshall remembers his contract year. He remembers how it affected his concentration. He remembers doing things the wrong way.

But Marshall doesn’t believe having so many teammates — key ones, for that matter — in the final years of their contracts or on one-year deals will hinder the Bears much this season.

It will be a phenomenal thing for the Bears if he is right because general manager Phil Emery ­wasted little time making headlines Wednesday, saying he doesn’t ­expect to sign any players to contract extensions during the 2013 season — and that includes quarterback Jay Cutler.

“I remember when I was going through that a few years ago, that affected me,” Marshall said. “I still put up numbers. But it took away from the chemistry I had with the guys, my presence in the locker room. I was immature and I went about it the wrong way.

“But the guys that we have in this locker room that are up, that have one year left on their deals, they’re pro’s pros. So I don’t think we’ll have to worry about that here.”

Cutler tops an impressive list of players in the same make-or-break situations. It includes Pro Bowlers Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings and Henry Melton, young starters Corey Wootton and Major Wright, kicker Robbie Gould and kick returner Devin Hester.

In fact, according to the Bears media guide, the team has 43 ­players on the roster with contracts set to expire after the 2013 season.

Asked about Emery’s no-­extension proclamation, Cutler said, “That’s fine with me.” He also said there weren’t any contract talks with the Bears during the ­offseason.

Cutler, meanwhile, shrugged off any pressure he feels from his situation.

“It doesn’t really matter what year you are in your contract I don’t think, you’ve got to still go out and prove yourself,” Cutler said.

“You’ve got to play each and every week. You’ve got to be consistent and you’ve got to sustain that the whole season. Nothing’s really changed on that part.”

Emery said the Bears’ tight salary-cap situation is a major ­factor, saying “you have to have room, both cap and cash, to make those types of extensions, and we’re just not in that position.”

That said, Emery said he hasn’t felt any “push back” from the veterans with expiring deals.

“They’ve seen since I’ve been here that we will reward players that are on the upside, still improving and still contributing, whether they’re young or old,” Emery said.

Emery isn’t concerned that the Bears’ situation will give Cutler an “enormous amount of leverage” for his next deal, either.

“That means we had a great season,” Emery said. “And that’s a problem I look forward to.”

And that could mean a big deal for Cutler. He knows what type of contracts other quarterbacks such as the Baltimore Ravens’ Joe ­Flacco have signed recently.

“There’s some big contracts ­going around,” Cutler said, “so I mean if you win and produce, you’re going to get paid.”



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