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NFL Notes: Giants, Lions, Panthers, Saints, & Vikings

Giants

  • Dan Graziano could see the Giants targeting Bills free agent DE Jerry Hughes if they allow Jason Pierre-Paul to depart in free agency.
  • Graziano expects the Giants to pursue a “change-of-pace” running back and C.J. Spiller could be somone on their radar. Other options according to Graziano include Shane Vereen (Patriots), Antone Smith (Falcons) and Jacquizz Rodgers (Falcons).
  • According to Graziano, the Giants will “definitely make an effort to sign Pierre-Paul long-term.” He remains a candidate to receive the Giants franchise tag.
  • CB Walter Thurmond could be an interesting free agent to watch seeing as his injury could leave him as a value signing for the Giants, if they’re still interested in bringing him back.
  • Graziano believes finding upgrades at safety is more important for the Giants than adding an offensive tackle.

Lions

  • Michael Rothstein reports that the Lions have spoken to agents for some of their impending free agents, even before the season had ended. Rothstein mentions that much of the Lions plans will revolve around DT Ndamukong Suh.
  • According to Rothstein, Suh is likely to be the highest paid defensive lineman in the league when all is said and done. If the Lions were able to retain him, they would likely have to structure the deal so that a large portion of Suh’s contract is back-loaded.

Panthers

  • David Newton writes that locking up TE Greg Olsen should be the team’s No. 2 priority behind re-signing QB Cam Newton. Newton mentions that the Panthers could wait until after free agency to address Olsen’s contract.
  • According to Newton, Andrew Norwell and Mike Remmers should get an opportunity to compete for a starting spot in 2015.
  • Newton expects the Panthers to go with the best player available in regards to their No. 1 overall pick, which could mean they’ll target an OT, WR, or CB.

Saints

  • According to Mike Triplett, Saints GM Mickey Loomis acknowledged they need to evaluate how they’re scouting defensive talent seeing as they’ve had a hard time getting young players to contribute in recent years.

Vikings

Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater was named Pepsi Rookie of the Year Friday night. The “official” Rookie of the Year will be announced Saturday night.

“This award means a lot to me. I’m glad to have the fan base that I have,” Bridgewater said in a statement. “They’re the reason I was even in consideration for this award. To be able to play the game is one thing, but to also have a fan base is another and I’m very appreciative for that. Playing in The Bank this year – TCF Bank Stadium – hearing those fans chant my name, that was an amazing feeling. Also being able to go out and live out my dream, be able to complete my first season in the NFL was always a childhood dream of mine, so everything paid off.

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