Bears notes: Eddie Royal said QB Jay Cutler recruited him

SHARE Bears notes: Eddie Royal said QB Jay Cutler recruited him
SHARE Bears notes: Eddie Royal said QB Jay Cutler recruited him

EddieRoyal’s best season was his rookie year. In 2008, he had 91 receptions for 980 yards and five touchdowns with the Broncos.

The wide receiver never forgot who was throwing him the ball then: Jay Cutler.

“We had been kinda itching to play with each other again,”he said Friday on SiriusXM NFL Radio with hosts Bruce Murray and James Lofton.”And now we get that opportunity.”

Cutler encouraged Royal to reunite with him; they did Wednesday night, when Royal signed a three-year, $15 million contract with $10 million guaranteed.

“He was one of the first people to reach out and talk to me,” Royal said. “That meant a lot. Just as a receiver, you want the quarterback to be on the same page as you, on and off the field. You want that connection and that bond. We had that from the minute we got on the field.”

Asked about Cutler as a leader, Royal said he was “great for me” in terms of preparing him for opposing teams.

Royal totaled 15 receiving touchdowns in the final two seasons of a three-year deal with the Chargers, who signed him after four seasons in Denver. He figures to play the slot, though he said he didn’t have a specific conversation with Bears management about his role.

He sounds ready for a repeat of his rookie season.

“Jay had a great year that year,” Royal said. “We had a really good offense. we just put it together … I’m looking forward to doing that again.”

Bonus money

Rookie offensive lineman Michael Ola was part-time player for the Bears who was pressed into full-time work nearly every week because of injuries. And it paid off.

According to numbers provided by the NFL Management Councilon Friday, Ola led the Bears in performance-based pay for2014 season at $266,554.96.

Every team received $3.633 million for performance-based pay. It’s divided among players based on salary and overall playing time.

Injuries led to more playing time for Ola, the Bears’ top reserve on the line, last season. He appeared in 13 games and made 12 starts, filling in for guards Kyle Long and Matt Slauson and tackles Jermon Bushrod and Jordan Mills.

Linebacker Christian Jones ($222,364.96), Mills ($204,711.83), safety Brock Vereen ($190,471.64) andnickel back Demontre Hurst ($159,572.19) round out the top-five Bears for performance-based pay.

Other notable performance-based pay includes: quarterback Jay Cutler ($6,808.79), defensive end Jared Allen ($42,613.69) and wide receiver Brandon Marshall ($10,457.62).

Adam L. Jahns contributed.

Email:pfinley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @patrickfinley

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