NFL notes: Chicago Bears sign QB Jay Cutler to seven-year deal
If the Bears make changes this offseason, it will not be at quarterback.
Chicago signed Jay Cutler to a seven-year contract Thursday, ending speculation they might make a change after five seasons of good and bad from their talented signal-caller. Cutler clearly thrived under first-year coach Marc Trestman and now has some of the best complements on offense he's had since arriving in Chicago in 2009.
General manager Phil Emery said the team and Cutler's agent, Bus Cook, completed contract discussions three days after the season ended Sunday with a 33-28 loss to the Green Bay Packers in a game that decided the NFC North title. Terms were not disclosed, but the deal for the 30-year-old Cutler is reportedly worth nearly $18 million per year over the first three years and includes at least $50 million guaranteed.
Ex-Vikings punter: Coach made anti-gay remarks
Former Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe says his special teams coordinator made anti-gay comments while Kluwe was with the Vikings, an allegation the coach "vehemently denies."
In an article posted Thursday on the website Deadspin, Kluwe wrote that coach Mike Priefer made several anti-gay comments in objection to Kluwe's outspoken support of a gay marriage amendment in Minnesota.
Kluwe also says former Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and current general manager Rick Spielman encouraged him to tone down his rhetoric in an effort to reduce distractions to the team. At the same time, Kluwe said, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf expressed support for Kluwe's championing of gay rights.
Hours later, Priefer issued a statement disputing Kluwe's portrayal of the events.
"I want to be clear that I do not tolerate discrimination of any type and am respectful of all individuals," Priefer said. "I personally have gay family members who I love and support just as I do any family member.
Colts, Bengals, Packers get extension to sell tickets
The NFL is giving the Colts, Bengals and Packers one more day to sell their remaining playoff tickets and avoid local television blackouts.
The Colts announced their extension on their website Thursday, about an hour before a previous extension was supposed to expire. Fewer than 3,500 tickets remained for Saturday's wild-card game against Kansas City (11-5). The team had said about 5,500 tickets were left Wednesday night.
The Bengals (11-5) also had tickets left for their game Sunday afternoon against San Diego (9-7). The Packers (8-7-1) had roughly 3,000 tickets left for the wild-card game Sunday against San Francisco (12-4).
Normally, teams must sell out 72 hours before kickoff to have a game broadcast in the local market. They can get one-day extensions if they think a sellout is possible.
Around the league
Giants • Kevin Gilbride, a veteran of 39 years in coaching, retired as offensive coordinator. He was under pressure this season for New York's inconsistent performance, as the Giants scored 294 points, the lowest total of the Tom Coughlin era.
Vikings • Linebacker Erin Henderson was arrested again for drunken driving, putting his status with the team in question after a perilous one-car crash. Henderson also was arrested Nov. 19 on suspicion of DWI and drug possession.
Seahawks • Receiver Percy Harvin (hip) returned to the practice field for Seattle for the first time since the middle of November.
• Kansas City at Indianapolis2:35 p.m., Ch. 5
• New Orleans at Philadelphia, 6:10 p.m., Ch. 5
• San Diego at Cincinnati, 11:05 a.m., Ch. 2
• San Francisco at Green Bay,2:40 p.m., Ch. 13