NFC North Notes: Bears, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

Bears S Eddie Jackson explained that he and QB Mitch Trubisky held convince S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to sign with Chicago during free agency with their sales pitch.

“Me and Mitch, we went in there and we told him. I told him this defense is like Bama, man. He was like, ‘I know. Ya’ll got some dogs.’ So when Mitch told him like, ‘We need you.’ It was a little sales pitch,” Jackson said, per Adam Jahns. “We just told him about coach Nagy, man, the type of coach he is. He lets us have fun. He lets us be us and play with swag. He was already sold. He was already a fan of this team. So it was kind of easy.”

Packers

  • Packers first-round S Darnell Savage Jr. worked consistently with the starters during OTA’s Tuesday: “He’s a smart guy,” HC Matt LaFleur said. “We’re really excited about him. Again, it’s still early, but he showed some good stuff in the rookie minicamp. We’ll take it day by day and see where it ends up.” (Rob Demovsky)
  • According to Field Yates, the Packers also placed a waiver claim on TE Jordan Leggett. Leggett landed with the Buccaneers who had the highest priority.
  • Packers DC Mike Pettine said Adrian Amos leans more toward being a strong safety and Darnell Savage Jr. is more of a free safety, however, both would be interchangeable: “I think both of them can do it all.” (Ryan Wood)
  • Pettine said he helped evaluate players in free agency and the draft and was pleased with GM Brian Gutekunst‘s additions to the team: “I didn’t have to tell him. He knew what the deficiencies were, and wanted to add some big, explosive athletes on defense, and he did that.” (Wood)
  • Packers OLB coach Mike Smith was blown away by Packers first-round LB Rashan Gary: “It’s unbelievable. A guy that size with that speed and that athleticism, I’ve never seen it. I’ve been in the league for 11 years. I had Dee Ford, great get off. Justin Houston was a big strong guy. Gary is both of them.” (Wes Hodkiewicz)

Vikings

During the offseason, Vikings HC Mike Zimmer said CB Xavier Rhodes “needs to play up to that contract” he signed a few years ago. 

Regarding Zimmer’s comments, Rhodes said he appreciates him “being hard on us, being tough on us” and the two have spoken about it. 

“Me and him spoke on that,” Rhodes said, via the Pioneer Press. “I mean, we had a bad year as a whole team, so everybody was messing up. We all need to come together as at team and correct our mistakes. I was one of those guys being a leader on the team, not making as many plays as I did in previous years.”

  • Regarding Vikings LB Eric Kendricks‘ restructured contract, Courtney Cronin of ESPN points out that Kendricks, QB Kirk Cousins, LB Anthony Barr, DE Everson Griffen, WR Stefon Diggs, CB Xavier Rhodes, and DE Danielle Hunter each have an “automatic conversions” clause in their contracts, which allows Minnesota to convert base salaries into a signing bonus at the team’s discretion, meaning it was never up to Kendricks whether to restructure his $4.15 million salary into a signing bonus. 
  • Although the Vikings restructured Kendricks’ base salary into a signing bonus, Cronin mentions that the automatic conversions clause allows the team to defer payments on bonuses as they would normally process throughout the season like base salaries. 

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