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Chicago Bears' GM Phil Emery says Jay Cutler is 'franchise quarterback'

The Bears' offense has often been the focus of recent frustration, but Jay Cutler, franchise quarterback, doesn't appear to be receiving much of the blame.

USA TODAY Sports

While there may be significant changes going on all around him, the Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler is still a "franchise quarterback" in the eyes of general manager Phil Emery, as the Chicago Sun Times' Sean Jensen writes. Both Emery and team chairman George McCaskey spoke in praise of Cutler while meeting with reporters on Tuesday.

"Jay Cutler is the most talented quarterback the Bears have here in the last 60 years. He's a very good quarterback. He wants to be great, and he needs to be great, and we need to do what we can to achieve that," McCaskey said.

While Cutler hasn't always thrived on the field like one would expect from a franchise quarterback, he's often won like one. Since joining the Bears in 2009, the team is 34-22 when he starts, including a 27-13 record over the past three years with an appearance in the 2010 NFC Championship Game.

Of course, that success wasn't enough to salvage the job of former Bears' head coach Lovie Smith, who was ousted earlier this week after nine seasons at the helm. Smith's Bears often struggled over the past two years when Cutler was injured, though.