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NFL News: Player News and Updates for 1/3/14

NFL Updates: Cutler's New Deal, Complete Playoffs Schedule and More

January 3, 2014

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We’ve got just one more day to wait before the NFL playoffs begin, so make sure you reserve some TV time tomorrow afternoon. While we’re waiting, let’s take a closer look at some of the noteworthy names and storylines happening out there in the league this morning. Here’s the latest.

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears: Fans of those teams who are in need of a solid quarterback (which is at least 1/3 of the league) got their dreams dashed yesterday when Cutler inked a contract extension with the Bears. He was set to be a free agent, but re-upped with the team on a seven-year extension that will keep him with the club through the 2020 season. He’s set to make around $18 million in each of the first three years of the deal.
Realistically, there was no reason to expect Cutler would be going anywhere. He’s put up some pretty pedestrian numbers during his tenure with the Bears, but has displayed significant toughness in the face of injury and porous offensive line-play. This move will prompt some head-scratching around the Bears faithful, but it was probably their best play. Expect Chicago to get straight to work on defense as the off-season continues.

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NFL News: Player News and Updates for 1/3/14

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Bengals Players Return: The Cincinnati Bengals got some good news in practice yesterday. After missing Wednesday’s session, A.J. Green, Jermaine Gresham and tyler Eifert all returned to the field and look like they’ll be good to go for this weekend. Green was dealing with an ankle issue; Eifert had an injured neck and Gresham an ailing hamstring.
All three players have been important cogs in Cincinnati’s offensive machine this season, but the top contributor is obviously Green. He finished off a great 2013 campaign with five touchdowns in his last five games, catching 31 balls for 406 yards in that span.

Smith/Stewart Sit Out: We won’t be seeing the Panthers until next week--they’ve got a first-round bye--but we’re already seeing some injury indications during their practice sessions.
Let’s start with WR Steve Smith. He’s been out of practice this week, and the plan is to hold him out until next week’s sessions begin in the hopes that his ailing knee will get some additional rest and time to heal. We’ll have to keep an eye on him next Wednesday to see what he looks like.
Then there’s RB Jonathan Stewart. He was able to make it through a walk-through practice on Wednesday, but had to sit out yesterday’s session. He’s dealing with a knee injury. The hope is that he’ll be good to go for next week as well.

NFL Playoffs Schedule: It’s almost playoff time, and the anticipation is running high. Here’s a look at the complete schedule of games for each round of the playoffs, along with the start times and TV networks carrying each matchup.

Saturday, January 4, 2014:

4:35 PM ET:
Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts (NBC)

8:10 PM ET:
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (NBC)

Sunday, January 5, 2014:

1:05 PM ET:
San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)

4:40 PM ET:
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (FOX)


Saturday, January 11, 2014:

4:35 PM ET:
Lowest NFC Seed at Seattle Seahawks (FOX)

8:15 PM ET:
Highest AFC Seed at New England Patriots (CBS)

Sunday, January 12, 2014:

1:05 PM ET:
Higest NFC Seed at Carolina Panthers (FOX)

4:40 PM ET:
Lowest AFC Seed at Denver Broncos (CBS)

Other Notable Dates:

AFC Championship: January 19, 2014 (CBS)

NFC Championship: January 19, 2014 (FOX)

Super Bowl XLVIII: February 2, 2014 (FOX)

For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.


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