After inking a massive contract extension in January, Jay Cutler heads into the 2014 season having never been in a better position to succeed, according to Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times. Cutler’s deal has been described as one where the team is paying for what they expect from him in the future rather than what he’s accomplished in the past, so 2014 will be the signal-caller’s first opportunity to prove that the Bears were right to commit to him.
Let’s round up a few other Monday morning links from around the NFC North….
- While the loss of Johnathan Franklin to a career-ending injury is an immense disappointment for both the player and team, running back is still an area of strength for the Packers, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, noting that DuJuan Harris and the re-signed James Starks provide “uncommon depth” behind Eddie Lacy.
- Jordy Nelson is an extension candidate, but for now, his contract remains the most team-friendly on the Packers‘ books, in the estimation of Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap. Fitzgerald identifies Sam Shields‘ new four-year deal as the least team-friendly contract for Green Bay, arguing that nearly every aspect of the agreement favors the cornerback rather than the club.
- ESPN.com’s team of beat writers has projected the 53-man rosters for each NFL squad, including the Vikings, Lions, and Bears, courtesy of Ben Goessling, Michael Rothstein, and Michael C. Wright, respectively.