NFL AM: John Fox proclaims open competition for Bears QB job


John Fox says Bears will have “open competition” at QB

Perhaps new Bears coach John Fox is crazy like a fox.

Though everything indicates Jay Cutler is Chicago’s default starting quarterback next season, Fox says he’ll have to earn it over Jimmy Clausen and whichever third player is in the mix.

“It’s all an open competition,” Fox told CSN Chicago. “Obviously you’ve got to start somewhere and my experience in football, really in anything, it’s not where you start a competition; it’s where you finish it.
“But we’ve got to start the race with some kind of lineup. We have not discussed that in depth. We have not presented it to our players yet. I kind of have it in my brain and then they compete.”

Cutler is owed $25.5 million in guaranteed money over the next two years, though that may be part of the reason the Bears hired a new front office this offseason. Cutler is not Fox’s guy, nor is he new general manager Ryan Pace’s guy.

It’s easy to call Fox’s move a bluff, perhaps as some sort of motivational tactic to get some fire out of the notoriously indifferent Cutler. Fox is a Clausen backer from his days in Carolina – he was coaching the Panthers when they drafted the quarterback out of Notre Dame in the second round.

Even if it looks like smoke, the message is clear that Jay Cutler isn’t going to have anything handed to him by the Bears new regime.

Colts won’t offer contract extension to Chuck Pagano

Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano has one year left on his contract, and according to various media reports that will not be changing before this season. states that sources in the organization say Pagano is essentially entering a make or break year in 2015. The Colts certainly have big expectations after adding veterans like Trent Cole, Andre Johnson and Frank Gore in free agency.

Pagano has essentially had only two full years at the helm after stepping aside in 2012 for cancer treatments. The Colts have made the playoffs both of those seasons, but with a stumble this year the team may decide someone else needs to take them over the finish line – similar to when Jim Mora Sr. turned the franchise into a winner, but gave way to Tony Dungy thanks to an inability to win in the postseason.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett entered a similar scenario this year, but was rewarded with a five-year, $30-million contract after leading Dallas to a division title.

San Diego city and county officials fighting to keep Chargers

With the stakes raising in the NFL teams vying to move to Los Angeles game, San Diego is attempting to put a few more chips on the table to keep the Chargers in town.

The city and county governments of San Diego announced Thursday that they will share the costs for hiring consultants and lawyers needed to hammer out a new stadium deal. It’s a partnership that’s worked before – the two sides collaborated to build what was originally known as Jack Murphy Stadium in 1964.

Now they must band together to help pay for a replacement.

The assistance of the county, which draws from San Diego’s wealthier suburbs, was a must for helping the cash-strapped city afford any stadium deal.

County commissioner Dianne Jacob made it clear that the intention is to work out a legitimate deal with the Chargers, and won’t just fork over cash to make things happen.

“I love the Chargers, but I have to look at this as a business decision first, just exactly like the Chargers would,” Jacob said. “I said for years, and I’ll say it again: If county government puts skin into the game, we must make sure that any agreement with the Chargers is a good deal for taxpayers. And that’s my bottom line.”

About Alex Hickey

Alex Hickey

Alex Hickey can vividly recall most significant NFL events going back to Walter Payton's final game in 1987, including the ones that didn't make him cry. Since 2008, his full-time job has been covering college football, specifically McNeese State, for the Lake Charles (La.) American Press. Free time is spent informing, amusing or annoying you for Football Insiders.