SportsNation Blog Archives Chicago Bears
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.
Who wins NFC East? NFC North?
It's all down to the final Sunday for the NFC East and NFC North. But more than that, the losers of these two big games -- Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears -- will see their seasons end. As if that's not enough, major quarterback intrigue surrounds the matchups; the Cowboys are waiting to see if Tony Romo will be healthy enough to play while the Packers on Thursday announced Aaron Rodgers will return. How will it all play out?