NFC Links: Colston, Cutler, Bucs, Packers’s Mike Triplett explores a couple reasons why Marques Colston‘s future with the Saints is uncertain. The 31-year-old’s production has dropped the past three seasons, and he’s set to make $7MM in 2015. Of course, the veteran wideout could agree to a pay cut, and that would certainly make teammate Drew Brees a happy camper.

“First of all, I think he’s gonna be here for a long time,” Brees said. “But just as I talk about him as a player, as a person, as a teammate and all those things, he’s everything you would want. Everything you would want. And I’ve been lucky to have him for nine years, and I’m gonna be lucky to have him for a few more.

“I mean he’s a mainstay. There’s not any person who I’ve ever played with who has been more steady, more consistent in every way. He’s the consummate teammate.”

Let’s take a look at some other notes from around the NFC…

  • Despite making only four appearances this season, the Saints still claim they haven’t given up on second-round pick Stanley Jean-Baptiste. Both coach Sean Payton and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said they knew the cornerback would be a project, and they continue to echo that sentiment. “When we made that selection, we kind of understood exactly what we were receiving from an experience standpoint,” Payton said (via Triplett). “I like what I’ve been seeing from him. … For us, we like a lot of the characteristics we value in that position, and he has them. I think with the selection there were certain things we understood regarding him, and you have to have a vision. I think we had that.”
  • Jay Cutler will return as the Bears starting quarterback this weekend, and the embattled star says he’ll be playing for “the guys that have been in the huddle all year long.” As Michael C. Wright explains, Cutler understands that there could be some drastic changes within the organization this offseason. “I think you’ve just got to prepare yourself that anything could happen,” Cutler said. “That’s kind of what I’m prepared for. I mean, everyone could stay. Everyone could get axed. You just never know what direction it’s going to go. You just have to stay open-minded and know that things happen for a reason.”
  • The Buccaneers haven’t been particularly good recently, but that hasn’t prevented Mason Foster from wanting to stick around. The linebacker has battled injuries, and’s Pat Yasinskas says there’s no guarantee the 25-year-old will return. However, if it were up to Foster, he’d make Tampa Bay is permanent home. “I definitely want to stay in Tampa,’’ Foster said. “Both my sons were born in Tampa. I’ve got a lot of ties down here, and I love Tampa. It would be great. It would be amazing to stay here. But football is a business so you know there’s a chance you won’t be here.’’
  • Packers cornerback Davon House has missed the last two games as he tries to recover from a fractured right scapula. The upcoming free agent understands that his season may be over, and that means his tenure in Green Bay could also be finished. “I’m still not cleared, so if the season were to end this Sunday I played my last game as a Packer probably,” House said (via Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press Gazette). “You have to be real in my shoes. You have to be real. It’s my fourth year. It’s not guaranteed I’ll be back in March, so it’s a chance I played my last game. Is that highly (likely), no? But it’s still possible.”
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