CHICAGO (WLS) --The Chicago Bears have released longtime starting quarterback Jay Cutler, the team said.
Cutler, 33, played eight seasons with the Bears, compiling a 51-51 record and one playoff appearance after being acquired in a trade with the Denver Broncos.
Shoulder and thumb injuries limited Cutler to five games with the Bears last season, throwing for 1,059 yards and four touchdowns to go with five interceptions and five fumbles.
Bears are releasing QB Jay Cutler, per sources. Cutler asked for and was granted his release this morning. Now a free agent.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2017
Cutler led the Bears to the 2010 NFC Championship Game, but an injury forced him off the field early in a loss to the rival Green Bay Packers.
The Bears already have a replacement lined up in free agent quarterback Mike Glennon. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback is expected to sign a three-year deal with the Bears.
On the same day, former Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery told ESPN's Josina Anderson that he is signing a one-year, $14 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
"I appreciate Jay's professionalism throughout this process and throughout my two years with him here in Chicago," said Bears General Manager Ryan Pace. "I will always appreciate his toughness and respect his accomplishments on the field with the Bears. He leaves here holding nearly every passing record with this storied franchise and I wish him nothing but the best going forward."
Cutler ranks first in franchise history in career passer rating (85.2), completions (2,020), attempts (3,271), completion percentage (61.8), passing yards (23,443), passing yards per game (229.8), passing touchdowns (154) and 300-yard passing games (16). Cutler is the first quarterback in Bears franchise history to post five 3,000-yard passing seasons (2009-10, '12, '14-15). He has four seasons with 20+ TD passes as a member of the Bears (2009-10 & 2014-15) and is the only quarterback in franchise history to reach the mark in back-to-back seasons. He became the fastest Bears QB to throw for 3,000 yards, doing so in just 12 games in 2014 & 2015. He holds Chicago franchise records for single-season attempts (561) and completions (370) in 2014.
Cutler also saw some controversy in his career. When he tore his knee during the 2011 NFC championship game fans on social media were merciless. There were also other distractions like clashes with Brian Urlacher and Devin Hester. And he was called a 'coach killer,' with a trail of bodies including two head coaches, two general managers and several offensive coordinators.
"He was basically the definition of a guy that's good enough to get you fired. He had the talent, and it was like why can't you fix this with him?" said Jon Greenberg of TheAthletic.com.
The Bears acquired Cutler via trade in 2009 when the Bears sent QB Kyle Orton, a 1st and 3rd round pick in 2009 and a 1st in 2010 to Denver for Cutler and a 5th round pick in 2009.
Cutler was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2008 season. He ranks 36th in NFL history in passing yards and tied for 35th in passing touchdowns. Cutler originally entered the NFL as a 1st round pick (11th overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Broncos.