Players speak on Emery's comments
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Players speak on Emery's comments

GM Phil Emery said contract extensions will not be handed out to anyone during the 2013 season, no matter how important you are to the team. Bears players today reacted to the news.

During his introductory press conference to kick off Chicago Bears 2013 Training Camp, GM Phil Emery wasted little time in addressing the question on everyone's mind.

"We have a number of players that are under one-year contracts or their contracts will expire at the end of this season. That will be part of the planning process for 2014," Emery said. "We are always open to dialogue with our players and with their agents, but I will tell you that where we're at with our current salary cap and the room that we have in our cap in our efforts to put together a championship team in 2013, I do not anticipate that we will do any extensions of contracts during this season, that all those will occur and the Bears that it will occur with will happen in 2014 and not during the 2013 season."

Players who stopped to talk to the media this afternoon addressed Emery's comments. Here are their reactions to the news.

Jay Cutler

"That's fine with me. I haven't really talked about any of my contracts in my career and I'm not really going to start now. We'll play it out, and however it's supposed to go, it's going to work out.

"It doesn't really matter what year you are in your contract I don't think, you gotta still go out and prove yourself. 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.

"There are some big contracts going around so I mean if you win and produce, you're going to get paid. "

Matt Forte

"I don't know, maybe it just gives more sense of urgency to know that, ‘I only have a year on this deal, I've got to step it up and make sure I play well so that I can get re-signed or whatever.' I think by him saying that that means they don't have to worry about that during the season. They can just focus on playing football."

Major Wright

"I'm not worrying about my contract. It's just another year for me where I have to prove that I can play this safety position. All I'm going to do is go out and play my hardest, give this team all I've got every down, every second. I can go out and control what Major can control and that's it. Go and play. I can't control anything else.

"I'm playing like it's my last down. I'm giving it my all. Relaxed, it's like it's my last down every play. That's my mindset. And have fun and don't be uptight. At the end of the day it's about having fun in the game of football."

Tim Jennings

"It motivates you. This is the kind of position in I've been in my whole career so it's really nothing new. I have to go in an compete, continue to keep a job, and hopefully it pays off in the long run where I can have an extension and just kind of take it easy and not have as much pressure on myself. My whole eight years, that's how it's been. There's really nothing new and nothing different for me at all."

"[An extension] is the ultimate goal. I came from not even projected to be a starter. ... It's a process. That's the ultimate goal, to try to get an extension and finish my career here as a Bear. But everything will fall into place. I've just got to take care of what I need to take care of."

Devin Hester

"I'm more excited that this is my contact year. I'd rather do my contract after the season is over, because the way I'm feeling now, I could boost my stock a whole lot from where it's at now. I'm not really paying attention to the contract. I'd rather have mine after the season, because what I'm planning on doing this year is going to help me out.

"[It's] more motivating than anything. You can tell that this offseason – I went and trained with a cheetah. I'm looking to boost my stock up a little bit and after the season is over, I'm looking for some great numbers."

James Anderson

"I feel like I could stay here for a while. A one-year deal just means, go prove yourself. So you go out there and you play ball and you let the chips fall where they may."

And finally…

Robbie Gould

"There is no room to do a deal. They don't have any money. There isn't the ability to get a deal done. Is it good or is it bad for a player? I don't know. I am really not worried about it. If they want to do a deal, obviously whenever you do a deal early you are going to take a little less money.

"I'm happy to be a Bear. I want to be a Bear the rest of my life. If they don't want to do that then when the timing is right, I am going to have to move on. It is just part of football. I am not going to be here forever. I get that. I understand that. I'd love to be here. I want to be a Bear. I can't reiterate that enough.

"I love Coach Trestman. I love the organization. I have been here for nine years, you know. I think any time a player has been around here long enough, look at Brian Urlacher. At some point in time, everyone has to leave the organization. It's just part of it. I understand that.

"I would love to be here. Hopefully down the road we can make that happen and make it work. If not, I've had a great run here and hopefully I leave a legacy is tough for the next kicker to come in here and match and I am going to go out and play at a high level and then let everything else take care of itself."


Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his third season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.