NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

  • Per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, Bears GM Ryan Pace said the team will wait until the deadline in May to make a decision on the fifth-year option for QB Mitchell Trubisky
  • The Bears are focusing on free agency and the Combine right now, per Pace, who also mentioned the new CBA wouldn’t impact their decision. (Kevin Fishbain)
  • Pace said the team has faith in Trubisky but made it clear Chicago would look at adding competition via free agency or the draft. (Adam Jahns)
  • Pace added Trubisky is expected to be ready for OTA’s and minicamp following offseason surgery on his left shoulder. (Jahns)
  • Regarding Bears RB David Montgomery, Pace said the team is confident in his ability to be a feature back. (Jeff Dickerson)
  • The Bears are expecting eight draft picks this year, including two seconds, a compensatory pick in the fourth, a fifth, two sixths and two sevenths. (Fishbain)
  • Bears HC Matt Nagy confirmed he will continue to call plays in 2020. (Fishbain)

Lions

  • Per Kyle Meinke of MLive.com, Lions GM Bob Quinn said he called QB Matthew Stafford right after the trade report came out to tell him there was no truth to the rumor. He referenced his text message denial that was reported afterward: “If I could add a third exclamation point, I would.”
  • Stafford is already working out and is expected to be completely recovered from his back injury in time to participate in the offseason program. (Meinke)
  • Quinn and Lions HC Matt Patricia said everything is on the table with CB Darius Slay, from a trade to an extension: “We’re very much in the information gathering part of this.” (Meinke)
  • Patricia confirmed Ben Johnson would step into the TE coach role. (Justin Rogers)

Packers

  • According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal, Packers K Mason Crosby‘s new deal included a $3 million signing bonus and a base salary of $3 million in 2020. 
  • Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said keeping Crosby was one of their priorities this offseason: “It was something we wanted to do. It went pretty smooth. We’re really happy to have him back. He’s a 14-year pro. He holds all our records. It’s going to be tough for anybody to catch him.” (Silverstein)
  • Gutekunst acknowledged the Packers’ instability at linebacker with Blake Martinez set to leave via free agency but mentioned LB Oren Burks as a potential solution if he’s recovered from his torn pectoral: “I feel really good about Oren. He just has to stay healthy. He has all the talent in the world.” (Wes Hodkiewicz)
  • Packers HC Matt LaFleur said Green Bay will be looking for a third running back to add to the rotation with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. (Matt Schneidman)
  • LaFleur added he plans to hire a receivers coach. (Olivia Reiner)
  • LaFleur is excited for the progress the offense and QB Aaron Rodgers can make in the second full year in the system: “We’re going to refine some things we’re going to do offensively and I’m excited to get him back in the building.” (Hodkiewicz)
  • Regarding DC Mike Pettine, LaFleur told reporters there was “never a doubt” he’d return even after his defense was eviscerated in the NFC Championship Game: “I’m not gonna make a rash decision based on one game.” (Schneidman)
  • 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan gave assistant coach Mike LaFleur the option to join his brother on the Packers’ coaching staff. However, the three decided it was best for Mike to stay and he signed an extension with San Francisco. (Silverstein)
  • TCU WR Jalen Reagor formally met with the Packers at the Combine. (Eric Edholm)
  • Alabama WR Henry Ruggs III formally met with the Packers at the Combine. (Gery Woelfel)

Vikings

  • According to ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, one of the top priorities for the Vikings at the Combine this week will be working on the details for an extension for QB Kirk Cousins
  • Cronin writes it will be interesting to see how the two sides proceed, as Cousins’ agent would likely prefer a fully guaranteed deal like the last one, while Minnesota likely would prefer otherwise. 
  • Cronin adds there’s a chance Cousins plays out the final year of his deal, in which case the Vikings would need to consider drafting a quarterback. 
  • Regarding an extension, Vikings GM Rick Spielman acknowledged keeping the continuity with Cousins was a big incentive for an extension: “I think the second year … to go into a system for two years in a row, we just see him progressing and improving more. From a business side, I won’t talk about anything on contract negotiations or what we’re doing, but I do know we were very excited.” (Cronin)
  • Spielman added Minnesota will look at an extension for RB Dalvin Cook likely after the draft: “Usually we do not look at extensions until we get through the draft. … I consider Dalvin in that core group of players that we definitely want to keep.” (Chris Tomasson)
  • Spielman told reporters he hasn’t gotten a trade request from Diggs or his agent: “No, I haven’t talked to his agent at all. … When I do, it’s internal.” (Andrew Krammer)
  • Spielman called the trade speculation for Diggs overblown by the media: “No disrespect to your profession, but there are a lot of things that get reported that get sensationalized that maybe shouldn’t be, and regardless we’re going to handle anything internally.” (Krammer)
  • At the Combine this week, Spielman said he plans to meet with agents for most of the Vikings’ 17 pending free agents. He’ll also meet with CB Xavier Rhodes‘ agent. Rhodes has been speculated as a cap cut but Spielman didn’t confirm that: “I’m not going to say who is or isn’t part of the future yet. I don’t know.” (Krammer)
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