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NFL Notes: Bears, Cardinals, Falcons, & Ravens

Bears

Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune reports that new Bears GM Ryan Pace was believed to be in Denver on Thursday, which is likely a sign of the team courting former Broncos HC John Fox.

According to Campbell, “all indications remain strong” that Fox will soon be hired as the team’s next head coach, once they come to an agreement on a contract.

Campbell mentions that the belief right now is that the Bears are still aiming to seal the deal with Fox at some point in the near future.

Pace is expected to be back in Chicago on Friday and it remains unclear whether or not his visit to Denver had anything to do with a follow up interview for Fox.

Here’s our running list of Bears head-coaching rumors.

Cardinals

  • Mike Jurecki is “hearing” that Cardinals DBs coach Nick Rapone is the favorite to replace Todd Bowles as the team’s defensive coordinator.
  • Arizona is reportedly considering OLB coach James Bettcher for the position as well.

Falcons

  • According to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, the Falcons do not have a follow up interview scheduled with Seahawks DC Dan Quinn as of now. 
  • Although, McClure admits that this can change, as Atlanta could set up a meeting for Monday following Sunday’s NFC Championship game.

Ravens

  • Aaron Wilson reports that Ravens ILB Daryl Smith triggered an escalator clause in his contract, which will increase his 2015 base salary by $500,000.
  • Wilson adds that Smith’s salary cap figures will be $3.875 million in 2015, $4.375 million in 2016-2017.
  • Meanwhile, WR Steve Smith triggered $1 million in incentives based on his playing time and individual/team performance this season, according to Wilson.