Sports briefs for Jan. 2, 2014

Posted Jan. 02, 2014, at 5:50 p.m.

Bears sign QB Cutler to seven-year deal

EditorsNote: Update 4: With Cutler comments, details Bears sign QB Cutler to seven-year deal

General manager Phil Emery announced quarterback Jay Cutler signed a seven-year contract with the Chicago Bears on Thursday.

“Very excited,” Emery said, “to have Jay for the long-term.”

Emery took the drama out of Cutler’s impending free agency at the outset of his morning press conference.

Cutler is now tied to the Bears through 2020.

“I’m happy to be married to (coach Marc Trestman) for seven more years,” Cutler said with his typical dry wit.

According to Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez, the contract averages $18 million over the first three years. Cutler turns 31 in April and was 5-6 as a starter in 2013.

Cutler has a 56-48 career record, including one playoff appearance, and is 1-9 againts the Green Bay Packers. With the Bears, Cutler is 39-28 in five seasons with 101 touchdowns and 75 interceptions.

Sea Dogs begin 14th annual food drive

PORTLAND — The Portland Sea Dogs, in partnership with the Maine Credit Union League, has started their 14th annual Food Drive which will run through Jan. 31. All the collected food items will be donated to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

As in the past, this year’s food drive will be “buy one, bring one, get one.” For every ticket purchased and every donated food item a person brings, they will receive a free Sea Dogs ticket to the same game.

Fans may take advantage of this offer by bringing their non-perishable food items to the Hadlock Field Box Office. The Sea Dogs Ticket Office is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Former AFL commissioner to lead Hall of Fame

Former Arena Football League commissioner David Baker was named president and executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Thursday.

Baker will begin his duties on as the Hall of Fame’s sixth president in its 50-year history. He replaces Stephen A. Perry, who announced in September that he planned to retire after a successor was chosen.

“We are very fortunate to have such a successful and experienced entrepreneur and executive like Dave Baker join the Hall of Fame team,” said Tom Schervish, chairman of the Hall of Fame Board of Trustees. “He has a consistent record of success in areas that are vital to the future success of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

After serving as the AFL commissioner from 1996 to 2008, Baker worked as a Partner in Union Village, LLC, the largest health-care project in the U.S.

Nuggets suspend G Miller

The Denver Nuggets handed point guard Andre Miller a two-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, the team announced Thursday.

Miller will not play in a home game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night and Sunday’s road game against the Los Angeles Lakers, which will be just the eighth and ninth missed games of his career.

The 37-year-old veteran, apparently upset about his playing time, shouted at coach Brian Shaw on the bench during Wednesday night’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Miller is averaging 5.9 points and 3.3 assists in 30 games this season. He did not comment after the game.

WRs Cooks, Robinson declare for NFL Draft

Wide receivers Brandin Cooks of Oregon State and Allen Robinson of Penn State both decided Thursday to make themselves eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft.

Cooks (5-10, 185) is ranked as the No. 7 wide receiver and 38th overall in the projected 2014 draft by NFLDraftScout.com. Robinson (6-3, 210) is rated as the No. 4 wide receiver and 33rd overall.

Robinson’s announcement comes only a few hours after Penn State introduced Larry Johnson as interim head coach as it searches for a replacement for Bill O’Brien, who is heading to the NFL as the Houston Texans coach.

Robinson is the 2012 and 2013 Big Ten Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year and earned seven All-America honors after the 2013 season.

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