Jay Cutler is in the final year of his contract with the Chicago Bears, but he wants a chance to grow in coach Marc Trestman's offense.
"I would like to stay in Chicago," the quarterback said Monday on WMVP-AM's "The Jay Cutler Show," per CSN Chicago. "I'd be surprised if they kind of broke up the group that we have on offense. I want to stay here. ... The longer that we can stay together as a group, the better we're gonna be."
Cutler, still out with an ankle injury, confirmed that he had a rare midseason discussion with general manager Phil Emery to talk about the state of the team.
One option on the table is the Bears placing their franchise tag on Cutler, something the quarterback said he was open to exploring.
"If they want to franchise me, I'm gonna feel good about the situation we're in," he said. "We're gonna be in our second year of the offense with these guys. We're gonna be better (and) I'm gonna be better, so it's not personal. It's business."
Of course, if the Bears do franchise Cutler, it could be as part of a plan to develop a young passer in Trestman's offense and move on from the 30-year-old quarterback the following season.
Cutler said while he is fine with a tag, he still might hold out if a long-term contract can't be struck.
"You just don't show up for a little while," Cutler said.
However, he then admitted: "Everybody at some point comes back to work, right? I'm not just gonna not show up. I might miss a few OTAs and maybe go on an extra vacation, but at some point I'm gonna be back there."
(Ummm ... Jay, you pretty much undercut the point of holding out right there.)
Cutler knows, above all, he has to be healthy if he's going to get paid.
"You can be a good player, you can have all these attributes, but if you're not available each Sunday, if you're not there for (the coaches) to put you in, it doesn't matter," he said. "That'll get you kicked out of this league faster than getting in trouble off the field."
Cutler might want to stay in Chicago long-term, but the question is whether the feeling is mutual.