It wasn't long ago that Jay Cutler was injured and Josh McCown was performing at a high level as quarterback of the Chicago Bears, but the team remained resolute that Cutler was their starter, refusing to play into the idea of a quarterback controversy in the Windy City. On Thursday the team followed through on this promise, signing Cutler to a seven-year extension.
Details of the contract have not been released at this time, but it's reported the first three years of the deal are worth upwards of $18 million per year. It's a move that assumes the 30-year-old Cutler still has room to grow inside the Bears organization after leading the team to a 39-28 record as starting quarterback over his first five years in Chicago.
Initially it was unclear whether the Bears would retain Cutler, prompting rumors the Tennessee Titans and others could be interested in his services. This move ensures three of the four quarterbacks in the NFC North will be in place for a long time.
The Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars will have the first chance to get a look at the upcoming 2014 draft class with the announcement that each team's staff would serve as coaches in the Senior Bowl, taking place in Mobile, Ala.
It's a unique opportunity for two teams drafting in the top 10 to see some of the top college seniors in person, while getting a hands-on chance to coach the players and get a sense for how receptive they are to coaching.
The Senior Bowl will be broadcast live on NFL Network on Jan. 25.
A high temperature of 5 degrees is expected in Green Bay, Wis. for the NFC Wild Card game, while the wind chill could be as low as minus-30 according to The National Weather Service. It's a far cry from the 65 degrees expected in San Francisco, and will be interesting to see how both teams handle the weather.
The New York Giants didn't entertain the idea of firing head coach Tom Coughlin in the wake of a poor season, but there will still be some coaching shifts inside the organization.
Reports indicate that offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride will retire this year, leaving a void at his job. There is no indication who could take over at this time, but his seven-year tenure at the position was rife with criticism and reports of near-firings.