Lock up Cutler, Urlacher – after the season

It is reasonable to question if Cutler is an elite quarterback. He was elite at times last year. But elite quarterbacks are elite with consistency, not in streaks.

They win games in December and January.

Cutler has not done that. Players who have earned those types of paychecks — Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning — have.

If Cutler stays healthy and has a career year, the Bears will know they have to pay him the way those quarterbacks are paid.

Understand something about Cutler. He has been set up to have the season of his life. And he could be on the verge of doing that.

He has his handpicked wide receiver with him and his handpicked quarterbacks coach.

Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Jeremy Bates comprise the Cutler mafia.

If Cutler doesn't put up big numbers and lift his team, there likely won't be any Mike Martzes or Ron Turners or Roy Williamses to send off.

If Cutler does excel, he will be making the Bears a contract offer they can't refuse.

It is on Cutler and Urlacher to determine what they should earn — and to make the Bears deal with elephants.