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Could the Chicago Bears franchise tag Jay Cutler?

With the Chicago Bears' offense moving the ball without Jay Cutler, the quarterback's future with the team has become a big question in the Windy City.

A big season this year would have put Cutler in line for a Joe Flacco-type of payday. However, after his injuries and the subsequent success of Josh McCown in Marc Trestman's offense, it's become fair to ask if Cutler is worth a big chunk of Chicago's salary cap.

One option is for Trestman to identify a young quarterback to develop while placing the franchise tag on Cutler for next season to bridge the gap.

With that in mind, NFL Media's Albert Breer passed along the projected franchise-tag numbers for 2014 (subject to change based on where the salary cap is finally set at):

Quarterback: $16.2 million
Defensive end: $12.6 million
Wide receiver: $11.6 million
Cornerback: $11.3 million
Offensive lineman: $11.2 million
Linebacker: $11 million
Defensive tackle: $9.2 million
Running back: $9.1 million
Safety: $8.1 million
Tight end: $6.8 million
Kicker/punter: $3.4 million

Some other potential franchise tag candidates include: New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher and Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd, among others.

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