Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has ended speculation over his future this afternoon by signing a new seven-year contract, in a deal which looks likely to confirm that the 30-year-old will end his career at Soldier Field.
Cutler spent a large portion of this season out injured but has retained the faith of Bears management regardless, staving off any lingering doubts of entering free agency with a long-term contract which has taken the majority of analysts by surprise.
Bears back-up Josh McCown performed strongly and came within a single result of leading Chicago into the playoffs, narrowly missing out thanks to a 33-28 defeat to the Green Bay Packers on the final day of the regular season.
McCown was widely expected to continue in Chicago and help bring though a draft pick at quarterback, but the Bears have kicked that notion to the curb with today's surprise announcement.
Just four days after the end of the regular season Chicago have handed Cutler fresh terms running until 2020, with cornerback Tim Jennings and guard Matt Slauson also signing on until 2017.
A busy day for Bears business should see Chicago remain a competitive force next season, as they bid to quickly banish memories of playoff heartache with improvement led by all-time franchise passing completions king Cutler.