For the longest time, the Bears have been a team with a lot of pieces on both sides of the football but in need of a quarterback.  It seems that now that they have him, they plan on trying to keep him for the long-haul.

According to published reports the Bears have given Cutler a seven-year deal valued at $18-million per season, keeping him in Chicago and preventing him from hitting the free agent market.

Bears GM Phil Emery announced on Thursday that they’re glad to have him in the fold for the foreseeable future.

“We’re very excited to have Jay for the long term,” Emery said via the Chicago Tribune. “He battled through the tough times and kept fighting.”

It was an interesting journey that brought him to Chicago to begin with.  The former Denver Broncos quarterback ended up a Bear thanks to a trade that stemmed from rumors that then head coach Josh McDaniels had explored the possibility of acquiring his former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassell in a trade, which obviously didn’t sit well with his current incumbent.  From that point on Cutler stayed away from the team and refused to call them back, and as a result Denver sent him to Chicago in exchange for Kyle Orton when the two sides couldn’t reconcile their differences.

McDaniels ended up getting fired the next season, and now years later the deal ultimately worked out.  The Broncos have Peyton Manning and are Super Bowl favorites, while had the deal not happened, it’s tough to say if Manning would even be there.

As for the Bears, they’ve been better since Cutler stepped in and replaced Orton.  Now that the deal is done, the Bears seem happy to have him as their guy moving forward and believe he can help them win a championship.

“We’re pleased, it works for both parties,” Emery added. “It rewards Jay and it enables us to continue to build a championship team.”