Bears benched Jay Cutler for Jimmy Clausen

Jay Cutler is the highest paid QB in the NFL !!!!

The Chicago Bears plan to start Jimmy Clausen at quarterback this week over Jay Cutler, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Cutler has struggled this season in leading the Bears to a 5-9 record. In Monday’s 31-15 loss to the New Orleans Saints, he threw two touchdowns but had three interceptions to bring his NFL-leading turnover total to 24. He produced a season-low passer rating of 55.8 and generated a total QBR of 6.8, which registered as his second-worst performance of the season in that category (he had a 6.0 QBR in Week 10 against the Green Bay Packers). He also was sacked seven times against the Saints.

Cutler is the highest-paid offensive player in the NFL this season. Coach Marc Trestman informed him Wednesday morning that Clausen would get the start, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.

Trestman admitted Wednesday before word spread of the benching that he hadn’t been able to coax the best from Cutler.

“I think that’s evident I haven’t up to this point,” Trestman said. “Am I working at it? Yes. We’ve seen moments, but we haven’t done it on a consistent basis. I can’t hide from that.”

Trestman pointed to the offense as a whole, not just Cutler, in addressing the Bears’ issues.

“We haven’t been able to do the things that we want to get done,” he said. “We’re working towards that. But the answer to that is obvious. I’m trying to give you the most truthful answer, and that is, we’ve seen moments of it, but it’s not where we need to go. It’s not where we need to be. But it’s not all about Jay. It’s about our entire offense, working together to get it done.”

Clausen has appeared in three games for the Bears this season. He will get the start against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

The 27-year-old was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the second round in 2010 out of Notre Dame. He played in 13 games in his rookie season, starting 10, before the Panthers drafted Cam Newton and inserted him as the starter.

The Bears named Clausen as Cutler’s backup after a preseason competition with Jordan Palmer, citing his experience, upside, mechanics, football smarts and mental toughness. Clausen endured injuries and a lack of success as a rookie in addition to being benched in favor of Newton.

“His ability to handle the adversity that he had in his first year, his leadership qualities, he stood up tall through a lot of tough times in Carolina, and gained the respect of his teammates and the team there with the way he handled himself in a very, very difficult year,” Trestman said in August. “So that, plus performance, plus experience, plus youth were a lot of the reasons.”

At the time, Clausen said his experiences in Carolina might have helped him with the Bears.

“One of the big things is sitting and looking back on the sidelines the past few years in Carolina just sitting and learning really did help,” he said. “I didn’t have that in college. I didn’t have that in high school. Just to sit back and take a step back and look at everything helped the game slow down a little bit for me, and [I] just learned how to play in the NFL because it’s totally different from college.”

The Bears wrap up the season Dec. 28 against the Minnesota Vikings.

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Sony Cancels The Interview Christmas Release

“We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”

Sony’s decision caps a whirlwind day, which saw the nation’s five biggest theater chains cancel plans to screen “The Interview” on Dec. 25. Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Cineplex Entertainment and Carmike Cinemas pulled the comedy following a terror threat made Tuesday by hackers who had attacked Sony Pictures.

“Due to wavering support of the film ‘The Interview’ by Sony Pictures, as well as the ambiguous nature of any real or perceived security threats, Regal Entertainment Group has decided to delay the opening of the film in our theaters,” a representative for Regal said in a statement to The Huffington Post. Sony had previously placed the decision to cancel showings of “The Interview” at the feet of theaters owners.

On Tuesday, the hackers referenced the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in a statement that threatened “the very time and places ‘The Interview’ be shown.” Officials for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged they were aware of the threat, but downplayed the likelihood of an incident.

49ers release Ray McDonald

The San Francisco 49ers announced Wednesday that they have released defensive lineman Ray McDonald.

“This is about a pattern of poor behavior,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said Wednesday. “We expect a lot from our players, hold them accountable for their actions.”

Earlier in the day, local law authorities said they were investigating McDonald on suspicion of sexual assault.

San Jose Police Department Sgt. Heather Randol said an area hospital notified police late Tuesday night that a woman was seeking treatment and that detectives had searched McDonald’s San Jose home.

“The victim alleged she was possibly sexually assaulted a day prior,” Randol said. “Based on preliminary investigation, detectives secured a search warrant and served it at the alleged suspect’s residence in San Jose.”

No arrests have been made, nor have charges been filed.

Baalke said that CEO Jed York and coach Jim Harbaugh were involved in the decision to release McDonald. The 49ers notified the NFL office of the allegations against the defensive lineman, Baalke said, adding, “This is a team decision.”

“It’s not a situation you want to hear about. Very unfortunate,” quarterback Colin Kaepernick said. “He’s a good friend to a lot of people on this team. No one thought bad of him. Hopefully it’s just a misunderstanding. … I understand why the team did what it did. Other than that, it’s not my business.”

The NFL confirmed that the alleged incident is covered by its new conduct policy. The league will conduct its own investigation but will not interfere with law enforcement.

An NFLPA source told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that no determination has been made on whether the McDonald will file a grievance over his release.

This marks the second time in recent months that McDonald has been the subject of a police investigation.

Last month, the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office announced that it declined to file charges against McDonald in a domestic violence investigation stemming from his Aug. 31 arrest.

Prosecutors cited conflicting versions of what happened, a lack of verifiable eyewitnesses and a lack of cooperation by the alleged victim, McDonald’s fiancée.

McDonald had played all season despite pressure on the 49ers to bench him.

“If this was one incident, we would be standing up here talking about due process, like we have multiple times, in multiple other situations,” Baalke said. “But this is just a pattern of decision-making that Ray has demonstrated over a period of time that, once again, it’s no longer going to be tolerated.”

Baalke said he had numerous conversations with McDonald in the wake of the August arrest and had set forth criteria for McDonald to “stay in good standing” with the club.

In light of the second issue this week, Baalke said, “We weren’t willing to deal with [it] anymore.”

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New York Yankees Move Alex Rodriguez to Full-Time DH

In an interview with the Associate Press, Cashman opened up on the slugger being the team’s full-time designated hitter and will have to earn his job on the team. With the exception of Headley, the pinstripes have remained quiet in the winter meetings to spend for new talent and will have time to evaluate A-Rod in three months. If Rodriguez shows signs of any injury and is physically unable to play in spring training, the team will be able to recoup some of their salary for the season, but definitely not close to the large guarantee of $30 million he’s owed.

“I can’t expect Alex to be anything, I’ve got to think the worst and hope for the best. Even before the suspension, he wasn’t the same player at third base on the defensive or offensive side. And that was before the suspension. And now he’s been out of the game for a year. He’s approaching 40 years of age. And just to automatically assume given his circumstances that he’ll be able to plug right in, play third as an everyday guy and hold up and be productive, I think that would be dangerous thinking from my perspective, in the seat I’m sitting in. So given all that circumstance, we look forward to him hopefully solidifying himself as a tremendous DH for us, and if he shows he has retained athleticism, then he can play third as a choice when Joe decides to give Headley a rest. He can compete for Joe’s thought process, whether it’s Prado swinging over or Alex playing third” – Brian Cashman with the Associate Press.

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