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Your 2014 NFL predictions?
The 2014 NFL season kicks off Thursday night, with the Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks hosting the Green Bay Packers in the first of what should be many intriguing games in this wide-open league. What will happen this year? Read our experts' NFL preview, then cast your votes below!
pollcenter:category=5530+your2014nflpredictions?Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Jared Allen signs with Bears
Jared Allen is staying in the NFC North. Allen, who made a name for himself with six exceptional years with the Minnesota Vikings, has signed a four-year contract with the rival Bears. Seeing Allen (who is 12th on the career sack list with 128.5) in a Bears uniform instead of Viking purple will probably be jarring for Vikings fans, but is he still a good enough defensive end to make a difference in the competitive NFC North?
Bears, Hester part ways
Devin Hester has been the Bears' trump card since 2006, returning a record-tying 19 kicks and punts for touchdowns over the course of his career. They won't be bringing him back next season, however: Hester said on Wednesday that the team has decided to ''go a different route'' with him. Hester will be one of the more intriguing free agents on the market, as he offers the potential of a game-changing play every time he handles a return. His value has been downgraded, however, by the rule change shortening kickoffs. It's difficult to return a ball that lands 10 yards out of bounds.
Bears re-sign Jay Cutler
The Bears have gone all-in on Jay Cutler, who would have been a free agent, signing him to a seven-year contract. Cutler's 2013 season was interrupted by injury and even featured a brief period where backup Josh McCown performed well enough to present something of a threat to him. Bears coach Marc Trestman stuck with Cutler, however, and though the Bears fell just short of the playoffs, Cutler's performance -- when he's healthy -- could be a sign of good things to come in Chicago.