Bears to release quarterback Jay Cutler

It’s the end of an era. The Bears will release quarterback Jay Cutler after eight seasons with the team, two leagues sources confirmed.

Once the new league year begins at 3 p.m. on Thursday, the Bears are expected to sign quarterback Mike Glennon to a three-year deal worth a reported $19 million guaranteed.

Acquired in a blockbuster deal with the Denver Broncos in 2009, Cutler went 51-51 as the Bears’ starting quarterback in eight seasons. He also leaves the Bears as the franchise leader in passing yards (23,443) and touchdown passes (154).

Cutler will be remembered as a lightning-rod figure in Chicago, but he brought stability to a position that had troubled the Bears for years. He followed quarterbacks Kyle Orton, Brian Griese, Rex Grossman, Chad Hutchinson, Kordell Stewart, Jim Miller and Shane Matthews, among plenty of others.

Jay Cutler. (Getty Images)

Cutler’s best season came in 2010, and it ended with disappointment in the playoffs. A serious knee injury knocked Cutler out of the Bears’ 21-14 loss to the rival Packers in the NFC championship game that season.

Moving from Cutler at this point has little financial consequence for the Bears, who attempted to trade him over the past few weeks.

The guaranteed portions of Cutler’s seven-year extension, which he signed under former general manager Phil Emery in 2014, have been paid.

Releasing Cutler only will result in a $2 million salary-cap hit on the Bears’ books for the 2017 season. That’s due to the remaining amount of a $5 million signing bonus.

ESPN was the first to report the news about Cutler.

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