NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Vikings


  • Bears first-round LB Roquan Smith is one of just two draft picks who have yet to sign their rookie contracts.
  • Bears HC Matt Nagy told reporters on Saturday that one of the hangups in negotiations is related to the new helmet lowering rule, which allows players to be suspended and could result in the voiding of their guaranteed money. (Patrick Finley)
  • Multiple sources tell Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune that Smith’s representatives at CAA Football are asking the Bears to include written assurance that the team would not go after any of Smith’s guaranteed money if he were suspended under the new rule in his contract.
  • However, the Bears have resisted such language and have instead informally assured Smith’s representatives that they would be reasonable in assessing disciplinary action by the league under the new rule.


Lions WR Golden Tate said Friday that he plans to honor the five-year contract he signed with Detroit and not hold out for a new deal.

“I signed a five-year contract and I’m going to honor it,” Tate said, via “I love the game a lot. I want to be out here around the guys.

  • Lions WR Marvin Jones suffered a left leg injury during Saturday’s practice, but says he’s “good.” (Kyle Meinke)


Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (knee) said he is no longer playing with a knee brace and is comfortable running without one.

I told myself, ‘I know the work I put it. I’m going to test it out before I get back to training camp,’ ” Cook said, via Dan Mizutani of the Pioneer Press. “I felt comfortable with (not wearing) it so I just went forward and made sure the training staff knows that I’m not going to be wearing it. They are comfortable with it as long as I’m comfortable with it.

  • Vikings HC Mike Zimmer announced that Clancy Barone (TE) and Andrew Janocko (assistant OL) will split OL coaching duties after the sudden passing of Tony Sparano. (Tom Pelissero)
  • According to Zimmer, former Raiders OC Todd Downing is now the Vikings TEs coach. (Tom Pelissero)
  • Ian Rapoport reports that the Vikings spent some time talking with former HC Mike Tice, but they couldn’t get a deal worked out.

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