NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers

     

Bears

More and more players are like Panthers LB Luke Kuechly and choose to walk away from football while they arguably still have something left in the tank. Others, like Bears G Kyle Long, are pushed out when their body fails them. Long’s last full season was in 2015 and he says injuries left him “unable to fulfill my end of the bargain” for the team, which is why he made the decision to retire this offseason. 

“It became clear to me in practices against [Bears DT Akiem Hicks],” Long said via NBC Sports’ Cam Ellis. “We used to never dial back. And Akiem is a freakshow, and he was a great guy when we played together. Towards the end of my career, he would dial it back as not to embarrass me in practice.”

  • According to the Athletic’s Adam Jahns, while the Bears still believe they can win with QB Mitchell Trubisky, there’s a growing desire to bring in competition for him in 2020.
  • Jahns lists Bengals QB Andy Dalton, Titans QB Marcus Mariota, Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater, Jaguars QB Nick Foles and Chargers QB Philip Rivers as potential options. 
  • Jahns mentions a reunion with QB Alex Smith would be a dream for Bears HC Matt Nagy, but Smith is still under contract with the Redskins and working his way back from his catastrophic leg injury.  
  • Chicago has connections with Dalton and Foles on their coaching staff, as new OC Bill Lazor held the same position in Cincinnati and both Nagy and QB coach John DeFilippo have worked with Foles.  

Lions

  • According to Field Yates, the Lions hired former NFL CB Tony Carter as a defensive assistant. Yates notes that this will be Carter’s first coaching job in the NFL.  

Packers

  • The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman lists Packers TE Jimmy Graham and G Lane Taylor as obvious salary cap casualties. Green Bay could save $8 million and $4.2 million respectively. 
  • Schneidman tosses out the possibility of the Packers trading 2018 second-round CB Josh Jackson for a late-round pick if he continues his fall down the depth chart. 

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