Jay Cutler was released Thursday by the Bears at the start of free agency after spending eight seasons with the team.
A few hours later, Cutler sent a message to the Chicago fans who supported him throughout all the seasons:
“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 a 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 [former Bears GM] Jerry Angelo, [former Bears GM] Phil Emery and [current Bears GM] 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.
“Chicago is the city where I met my wonderful wife Kristen [Cavallari]. 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.”
#CUTTY Name another guy making 100 million who calls their rookie right guard every morning at 6AM to make sure that he's on time for work. Name another Quarterback that shows up at your house on an off day just to make sure you're behaving. Name a quarterback that will grab you by the collar and pull you out of a brawl in your first game in the NFL. Name a friend honest enough to tell you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear. I have that friend in Jay and I will never forget the things he did for me. I learned a lot from you dude. You have a pretty kick ass family too!! @kristincavallari
It was an absolute pleasure my friend! 2014, back-shoulder rope in the back of the south end zone at soldier field was the first football you ever threw to me in a game. That back shoulder throw gave me a chance at a comeback and another shot at this game! Can't describe that feeling and what it did for me! I'm sorry we weren't better for YOU. You took every bullet for our football team and never once pointed a finger or deflected anything! Always called a spade a spade, stand up man and a tough S.O.B. Nov 20th, 2016. MetLife stadium, I never imagined that being your last touchdown pass in a Chicago Bears uniform… but I'm grateful that it was me to pull it down! Always had my back brother and for that I thank you! We wish You and @kristincavallari and your awesome family nothing but the best!
Some of his former teammates sent some love in return. Kyle Long and Zach Miller both posted messages on Instagram about the time they spent with the quarterback.