Jay Cutler is the highest-paid quarterback this season, and Brian Urlacher says that's the only thing elite about his former teammate.
On Tuesday, Bears general manager Phil Emery said in an online chat with Bears fans that he believed Cutler was elite because of his winning record as a starting quarterback (59-52). On Wednesday, Urlacher disagreed, making his point in an interview with 87.7 FM The Game in Chicago.
"Financially, he is one of the elite guys in the NFL. ... He just hasn't produced like an elite quarterback," Urlacher said.
Cutler has a base salary of $22.5 million this season ($5 million was converted into a signing bonus in March) as part of a seven-year, $126.7 million contract extension he signed earlier this year, putting him at the top of the list of quarterback salaries in 2014, ahead of the New York Giants' Eli Manning ($15.15 million) and Denver Broncos' Peyton Manning ($15 million).
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who signed a five-year, $110 million contract last year, has the highest average annual salary among quarterbacks at $22 million, but his base salary in 2014 is just $900,000, although he received $16.2 million more in bonuses.
"You look at the Bradys, the Mannings, the Rodgers, the Brees, those guys win every year, even with no one around them," Urlacher said. "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."
Cutler was asked two direct questions Thursday about Urlacher's comments but refused to answer both times.
Cutler threw an interception and was credited for two fumbles in the Bears' 27-14 loss last Sunday to the Miami Dolphins. After the game, frustration boiled over and yelling by Marshall could be heard outside the locker room. A source inside the locker room said some of Marshall's remarks were pointed at the quarterback. On Wednesday, coach Mark Trestman said the rant has been put behind the team.
Cutler has thrown for 14 touchdowns with 7 interceptions this season with all of the picks coming in the Bears' four losses. He has just one turnover (a fumble in a Week 3 win over the Jets) in the team's three victories.
ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson contributed to this report.