Former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has agreed to take the University of Michigan job.
Just a few days after "mutually parting ways" with the 49ers, Harbaugh will be announced as the next head coach at Michigan -- his alma mater. Harbaugh was a star quarterback during his playing days there, winning Big Ten Player of the Year honors and finishing third in Heisman voting as a senior in 1986. Initial reports said Michigan made a six-year, $49M offer to Harbaugh, which would mean he's college football's highest paid coach.
Bears fired OC Aaron Kromer.
Kromer was fired along with head coach Marc Trestman and GM Phil Emery. His biggest impact on the season was leaking a story to the NFL Network that disparaged his team's $126M quarterback, Jay Cutler.
Kyle Orton has informed the Bills he's retiring.
Orton is reportedly serious this time, just a few short months after angling his way out of Dallas only to sign an $11M contract with the Bills. The 32-year-old started hot but faded in Buffalo, finishing 287-of-447 (64.2 percent) for 3,018 yards with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. "I just have been going at it for 10 years and it's just a family decision and I've decided to get home and be a dad and call it a day," said Orton. So now the Bills are left with E.J. Manuel and Jeff Tuel as the only quarterbacks on their roster. They have no first-round draft pick as a result of the Sammy Watkins trade.
Bears fired coach Marc Trestman and GM Phil Emery.
Trestman got just two years in Chicago, going 13-19 while sustaining his reputation as an elite offensive mind that's not NFL head coaching material. Perhaps that's fair, but there aren't many people we'd rather have running our offense. Trestman showed his quarterback guru ways last season when he coaxed a white-hot performance out of career journeyman Josh McCown and his system also made Jimmy Clausen look like a serviceable spot-starter this season. Unfortunately, Jay Cutler couldn't hear Trestman's whispers and the defense was inept again. Trestman will be one of the hottest offensive coordinator candidates available over the next month.
Bears fired GM Phil Emery.
Emery took over for Jerry Angelo in 2012. In the three years since then, the Bears have fired Lovie Smith, given Jay Cutler a $126M contract and gone 23-25 with zero playoff appearances. Emery has to take the heat for negotiating the Cutler contract.
Falcons fired coach Mike Smith.
Smith went 66-46 in seven years at the helm of the Falcons and was the 2008 NFL Coach of the Year, but was just 1-4 in four playoff appearances and 10-22 over the last two seasons. There was no way the Falcons could bring him back, even if they somehow had made the postseason in the lowly NFC South. Smith, a defensive-minded head coach, had the league's worst defense this season and No. 27 unit in 2013. He also repeatedly bungled end-game situations. The Falcons join the 49ers and Jets as teams with head coaching vacancies so far on Black Monday.
Ravens DL Haloti Ngata's suspension is over.
Ngata, busted for taking Adderall, served his four-game ban. So the Ravens' already nasty front seven gets him back just in time to face the Steelers in Saturday night's Wild Card game. Ngata was PFF's No. 8 3-4 DE this season and is a two-time first-team All-Pro.
The NFL will review Ndamukong Suh's Week 17 incident with Aaron Rodgers.
Replays showed Suh stepping twice on Rodgers' leg. The first one appears to be accidental, but the second one looks intentional in slow motion. Perhaps Suh would get the benefit of the doubt if it wasn't for his history. He's stomped on Evan Dietrich-Smith, put an illegal low block on John Sullivan, put a dirty hit to the head on Eric Winston -- all earning a shady reputation. We'd be surprised if Suh were suspended for a playoff game, but the league is at least going to look at the situation.