NFC North Notes: Cutler, Austin, Barr

As the Packers and Lions continue to vie for the NFC North crown, while the Vikings and Bears battle to stay out of the cellar, let’s check in on the latest Friday notes from around the division….

  • While Bears head coach Marc Trestman indicated on Thursday that he wanted his team to “hear from me first” when he benched Jay Cutler, only a few players actually did, with many learning of the change via social media. As Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes, that rubbed a few Bears players the wrong way.
  • Taking Cutler’s enormous contract and cap numbers into account, trading him won’t be easy. In a piece for the National Football Post, former agent Joel Corry explores how the Bears could attempt to complete a deal involving the veteran quarterback.
  • Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin will be a top candidate for head coaching jobs this offseason, as Michael Rothstein of details. For now though, Austin is still focused on the Lions’ playoff hopes. “It’s flattering,” Austin said. “But that’s all it is right now.”
  • Vikings first-round pick Anthony Barr will miss the final two games with a season ending knee injury, reports Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (via Twitter). Barr has undergone knee surgery to repair a slight meniscus tear, according to Marc Sessler of The rookie linebacker is expected to be ready for offseason activities.

Rob DiRe contributed to this post.

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