NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Vikings



  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentions Bears LB Nick Kwiatkoski as a player who’s set to cash in on the open market in free agency this year. 
  • Recently-released Browns TE Demetrius Harris could be a free agent option for the Bears given his familiarity with HC Matt Nagy from their time together in Kansas City. (Kevin Fishbain)


  • According to Over The Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald, if the Lions traded QB Matthew Stafford the dead cap hit would actually be as low as $21.2 million instead of the $32 million that was widely reported, as long as the deal is done before March 22 when Stafford has a $6 million option bonus due. 
  • That bonus was guaranteed as a part of the restructure Stafford did at the end of the season but won’t be paid out until March 22. If Stafford is traded before that date and a new CBA is not agreed to, that would trigger another provision that could lower Detroit’s dead cap hit to just $18.8 million. 
  • If Stafford is traded after the roster bonus is paid on March 22, the dead cap hit increases to $24.8 million. 
  • The other part of Stafford’s restructure was a conversion of a portion of his salary to an option bonus the Lions have to exercise by the start of the regular season. If Detroit exercises the option and then trades Stafford, that would result in the full $32 million dead cap hit. 
  • Per Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Lions HC Matt Patricia says Detroit is “not in any trade talks whatsoever for [Stafford].”
  • Breer mentions Lions G Graham Glasgow as a player who’s set to cash in on the open market in free agency this year. 
  • Per Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post, a league executive tells him the price to trade for Lions CB Darius Slay would be a second or third-round pick, plus an extension worth $15 million a year for Slay. 
  • According to Mike Klis, the Lions initiated the trade talks for Slay and CB Chris Harris at the trade deadline. Klis says the Broncos were willing to move Harris after he declined two-year offer, but the Lions also wanted high-round pick, which is why no deal got done. 
  • While the Lions haven’t announced a new TE coach yet, offensive QC coach Ben Johnson worked with the position when Detroit coached the Senior Bowl a few weeks ago. (Justin Rogers)


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