The winner of last Monday night’s NFL playoff game between the Chicago Bears and the Washington Redskins is no stranger to the money. Jay Cutler, a wide receiver for the Bears, said he doesn’t remember what the top bet amount was, but it had to be close to $2 million during the first half.
“I’ve always been pretty good at it, because I play baseball and football, so I always knew how to manage,” said Cutler, who finished 5-6 for 34 yards with one touchdown. “But nothing like this. I never really thought about that. I guess it was more for the money than anything else. It’s a lot.”
Cutler, who is considered the leader of the “Bears Mafia,” was one of several prominent Chicago sports figures to lose last week’s game.
NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah on Thursday evening said the league was looking into financial matters of its past to see if players had used the money the way they had promised. On Thursday, the league’s executive vice president of football operations, Troy Vincent, said it was his understanding that the players all knew their bets were illegal. He said no team officials or teams’ employees involved had been disciplined.
In a statement Friday afternoon, the players union said it was aware “one of its members made an illegal bet” on Monday’s game.
“The union has been in contact with the NFL and the investigation into the matter is being conducted by our attorneys, as well as other NFL and NFLPA officials,” said spokesman George Atallah in a statement to ESPN.com. “It is important to our members that they receive fair treatment from the League, and the focus of our investigation is to determine the legality of all of these bets. As part of that process, we have contacted the Bears League Council and are awaiting their review of all legal matters related to last Sunday’s game.”
Cutler has won a total of $16,072,890 during regular season play, according to the Wall Street Journal. His total includes wins in five postseason games, which were completed in the first three games of his career.
In a statement provided to the New York Daily News, Cutler said of the bet: “It would be difficult to explain how such a loss happened, but I believe it was the result of human error, and I intend to seek to learn from the error and help to prevent it from happening again.”
The Bears and Redskins play Sunday in Cleveland.
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