NFC Notes: AJ Dillon, Jennifer King, Keisean Nixon, Bears, Packers


The Bears formally announced the addition of 39-year-old Jennifer King as assistant RB coach on Wednesday, the first woman coach in Bears history.

“Chicago is a great city, and the Bears organization is historic,” King said, via Pro Football Talk. “I started paying attention to the Bears playing video games like Tecmo Bowl back in the day because Walter Payton was unstoppable in the game. I used to always play with them on there. Then obviously working for coach [Ron] Rivera, he’s been so important in my life and him being a part of those historic defenses with the Bears as well. It’s definitely an exciting time. Hopefully, we can hit the ground running and get ready for 2024. To be a first in such a historic organization is a special moment. To be a part of that culture that’s in the building is exciting. I think we’re going to do some really cool things and I’m definitely excited for the upcoming season.”

“Jennifer King is an exceptional leader and passionate coach who will be a positive addition to the Chicago Bears,” Bears president and CEO Kevin Warren said of King. “As the first full-time Black female coach in the history of the National Football League, Jennifer has established herself as a hard worker, pioneer, and trailblazer.”

  • Other Bears staff additions include: Kenny Norton III promoted to Defensive QC coach, David Overstreet promoted to Nickelback coach, and Chavis Cook as coaching admin manager. (Kevin Fishbain)
  • The Bears hired Ryan Griffin as offensive assistant for quarterbacks and receivers coach, while they also hired Bryan Bing as assistant defensive line coach, per Aaron Wilson.
  • The Bears are hiring Matt Pees for a role as a defensive analyst-advance/special projects, via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. According to Cronin, the description of the role is reminiscent of Phil Snow’s role with Chicago last year.


  • Aaron Wilson reports the Packers are hiring Sean Duggan as a defensive assistant. Duggan spent the last four years with Boston College, serving as the co-defensive coordinator a year ago.


ESPN’s Rob Demovsky previewed the key Green Bay free agents and gave insight into their situations. He says there isn’t a “must re-sign” player on their list of unrestricted free agents, but they could use to bring some back for depth.

  • Packers S Darnell Savage‘s contract was voided last week and the Packers will carry almost $5.5 million in dead cap for 2024 as a result. Demovksy’s sources estimate Savage being the most expensive pending free agent for Green Bay, projecting him to be worth $5-7 million annually.
  • Demovsky points out guards Sean Rhyan and Jon Runyan split time last year which he thinks is a clue Green Bay is planning to move on from the veteran. Runyan was emotional reflecting on his time in Green Bay: “Just the brotherhood is unreal. This organization, everybody inside, the people out of the facility, the fans. It’s a special place. There’s some really good people here. I hope I don’t leave. It’s a good time. I really appreciate it.”
  • Packers CB/KR Keisean Nixon signed one-year deals each of the last two seasons with the Packers, and he sounded like he wanted to remain with the franchise going forward: “The moment I signed my contract and put that G on my helmet, man, it [meant] everything. They pour everything into me in this organization, and I pour everything back into them, and two All-Pros later.”
  • Packers HC Matt LaFleur had high praise for RB AJ Dillon and would welcome him back, per Demovsky: “AJ’s been a great member of our team, and certainly I think you gotta have multiple backs in this league. You have to. It’s just the pounding these guys take. And I think you could really see his value every year towards the end of the season. I fully expect him to have a full recovery from [the stinger]. But yeah, I told him, shoot, I’d love to have him back here.”
  • Demovsky also noted OT Yosh Nijman, S Jonathan Owens, S Rudy Ford and TE Josiah Deguara as pending free agents whom Demovksy states would only return on short, inexpensive contracts.

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