NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

  • Spotrac’s Michael Ginnitti adds that Bears S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is another extension candidate given his strong play on a one-year deal. 
  • With $8.1 million in potential cap savings by declining a team option, Ginnitti says the writing is on the wall for Bears G Kyle Long.
  • The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs points out the Bears could save $5.5 million by releasing WR Taylor Gabriel this offseason, though they likely won’t do so without a clear replacement. 
  • While Bears LT Charles Leno has caught some flak for his performance at times this season, Bears OL coach Harry Hiestand defended his play, highlighting his performance against Cowboys DE Robert Quinn: “There are some good examples of things he is doing better than he did last year. Just certain plays where, ‘Wow, that’s hard to do.’ And it’s like everything, there’s some you don’t like either. But there are some that go in the clip reel for future teaching.”
  • Biggs doesn’t anticipate Bears LB Danny Trevathan‘s elbow injury hurting his value in free agency this offseason, though Chicago still could elect to move on due to cap reasons. 

Lions

Packers

  • Spotrac’s Michael Ginnitti identifies Packers RB Aaron Jones as an extension candidate, adding he’ll likely seek more than $12 million a year in his new deal. 
  • Ginnitti adds the Packers would save $8 million in cap space by cutting TE Jimmy Graham.

Vikings

  • According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Vikings WR Adam Thielen should return to the field this week against the Chargers after missing the past four games with a hamstring injury. 
  • Spotrac’s Michael Ginnitti says the Vikings could convert QB Kirk Cousins‘ $30 million guaranteed salary in 2020 into a bonus and add on some extra years to create cap room if they’re sold on Cousins as their starter. 
  • Ginnitti also expects the Vikings to explore trading or releasing CB Xavier Rhodes given his $12.9 million cap hit and recent struggles. 
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