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BREAKING: Bears Fire Lovie Smith (UPDATES)

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Dec 31, 2012 4:20PM

Well that was fast. The Bears fired head coach Lovie Smith today after nine seasons with the team.

The Bears failed to make the playoffs yesterday despite a 10-6 record and 7-1 start. This is the fifth time in six seasons that the Bears didn't make the playoffs. That "uncertain offseason" we talked about just this morning just got a bit more certain.

According to ESPN, quarterback Jay Cutler had to leave "The Jay Cutler Show" on ESPN 1000 as reports surfaced.

"I think it's going to be a sad day at Halas Hall," Cutler said. "I have a lot of respect for the guy. He's made friends with a lot of the players. He's a players' coach. I think right now, I'm a little surprised, a little sad. Wish I could have done more offensive to help him out."

UPDATE (11:30 a.m.): Bears wide receiver Devin Hester says he may retire from the NFL, in reaction to news of Smith's firing.

Watch Jay Cutler's reaction, via WGN: