NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

New Bears QB Nick Foles said in a conference call on Friday that he’s excited for the opportunity to be a full-time starter in Chicago. 

“The opportunity to be a full-time starter and do those things is something any player would love to do in the right situation. It’s an opportunity I’m excited for,” Foles said. 

Foles added that he’s already spoken to Mitch Trubisky about doing what’s best for the team. 

“Mitch and I have already talked and we want to start out on the right foot … Ultimately, it’s all about what’s best for the Chicago Bears,” Foles said. 

Foles explained that had he not agreed to a restructured contract with the Bears, the trade would have never taken place. 

“If I don’t agree to a restructure, I’m not traded,” Foles said, per Kevin Fishbain. “This situation works best for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Chicago Bears and for me. … Agreeing to a crazy restructure was necessary for me to go play for Matt Nagy and the Chicago Bears.

  • Bears GM Ryan Pace said he is not prepared to comment on their plans regarding Trubisky’s fifth-year-option at this point. Dan Wierderer says it would be a “stunner” at this point if Chicago picked that up Trubisky’s fifth-year option.
  • Pace said Friday that all the players coming off surgery (Mitchell Trubisky, Anthony Miller, Roquan Smith, Trey Burton, among others) are still rehabbing and on-track to return by training camp. (Jeff Dickerson)
  • Pace said of free agent acquisition OL Germain Ifedi: “Right now we do envision him kicking inside to guard. … He’s a guy we liked coming out of the draft. … I know Juan Castillo is really high on this player, too.” (Kevin Fishbain)
  • As for new TE Jimmy Graham, Bears HC Matt Nagy said an offensive scheme change could benefit him: “It’s just a fit for us.” (Adam Jahns)
  • Regarding the decision to release OLB Leonard Floyd, Pace explained they felt they were able to upgrade their pass rush with the addition of Robert Quinn. (Adam Jahns)
  • According to Quinn, it was “coin flip” between signing with the Bears or Falcons. (Kevin Fishbain)
  • A rival executive tells Matt Miller that he doesn’t see the Bears taking a quarterback in this year’s draft class: “They’re going to do all they can without a first-round pick to make [Mitchell] Trubisky look good and save their jobs.”

Lions

  • According to Matt Miller of B/R, the Lions are expected to be a “hot destination” for teams looking to trade up.
  • Miller says the Lions would like to drop back to either No. 5 or No. 6 overall and still come away with OSU CB Jeff Okudah.

Packers

  • A very well-connected front-office member from another team tells Matt Miller that the Packers will consider taking a quarterback in the first two rounds.

Vikings

Vikings WR Adam Thielen admitted that “it’s a bummer” the team traded away Stefon Diggs this offseason. 

“Obviously, it’s a bummer that he’s not here because it was such a fun duo to be able to work off one another and things like that, whether it be practice or games,” Thielen said on KFAN, via the Pioneer Press. “So, I’m definitely going to miss that, but it will be fun to see him have success somewhere else.”

  • According to Matt Miller, the Vikings are heavily expected to draft a wide receiver early. However, Miller says this may not be a priority for them in round one.
  • Miller says that with a historically deep receiver class, there is a belief among league insiders that the Vikings could wait for a receiver and instead target defensive and offensive lines with their two first-round picks.
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