Buh-bye, Bears. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, Kristin Cavallari’s husband of three years, was released by the team on Thursday, March 9, after eight seasons. In a statement about the news, the Bears praised him for his “toughness” and “professionalism” on and off the field.
“I appreciate Jay’s professionalism throughout this process and throughout my two years with him here in Chicago,” Bears General Manager Ryan Pace said in the statement, which was posted to the team’s official Twitter account. “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, 33, first signed on with the Bears in 2009. In 2014, he signed a seven-year contract with the team, but he played only five games in the 2016 season due to injury, a fact that irked many Bears fans.
The athlete’s exit from the team has been rumored for months now since the Bears are reportedly bringing on free-agent quarterback Mike Glennon.
George McCaskey, the Bears chairman, said in the team statement: “We are grateful to Jay for all he did as a Bear. His ability, toughness, and intelligence were on daily display at Halas Hall and Soldier Field. He had an extraordinary impact off the field, doing things for people — especially kids — without expecting or wanting any recognition. I was and am a big fan of his. We wish Jay, Kristin and their three kids all the best.”
Cutler released a statement of his own on Thursday, published in the Chicago Sun-Times. “I would like to first thank the city of Chicago and its passionate fans for a memorable eight years,” he began. “I grew up in Indiana rooting for the Bears as a kid, so it was an honor to wear the Bears uniform and play quarterback at Soldier Field for my favorite childhood team.”
The NFL star also expressed a particular fondness for the city because it brought him and Cavallari, 30, together. (The couple share three kids — Camden, 4, Jaxon, 2, and Saylor, 15 months.)
“Chicago is the city where I met my wonderful wife Kristin. I have been fortunate to have three beautiful children here,” Cutler said. “Our family will leave Chicago with great memories and relationships on and off the field. We look forward to the next chapter in our lives and wish the best to Bears fans everywhere.”
The Hills alum has yet to make a public statement or post in response to the news.