Jay Cutler thanks Chicago, Bears fans

The Bears officially announced the release of quarterback Jay Cutler after eight seasons with the team at 4:28 p.m. on Thursday. It included statements of gratitude and appreciation from coach John Fox, general manager Ryan Pace and chairman George McCaskey.

Here is Cutler’s thank you to Chicago and the Bears as released to the Sun-Times:

“I would like to first thank the city of Chicago and its passionate fans for a memorable eight years. I grew up in Indiana rooting for the Bears as kid, so it was an honor to wear the Bears uniform and play quarterback at Soldier Field for my favorite childhood team.

“I would like to thank Virginia, George and the rest of the McCaskey family for their support over my tenure in Chicago as well as Jerry Angelo, Phil Emery and Ryan Pace. It was a great experience to have played with such a great list of teammates during my time as a Bear. Also, I would like to thank all of the great employees of the Bears from the locker room to the front office.

Bears QB Jay Cutler celebrates a touchdown against the Vikings. (Getty)

“Chicago is the city where I met my wonderful wife Kristin. I have been fortunate to have three beautiful children here. 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 Bear fans everywhere.”