NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers

     

Bears

The Bears’ wholesale renovation of the tight end position this offseason centered around major free-agent acquisition Jimmy Graham and second-round rookie Cole Kmet. But the first player Chicago brought in was actually before the start of free agency when HC Matt Nagy reunited with former Chiefs and Browns TE Demetrius Harris. He was seen mainly as a blocking tight end but Harris says not to count him out as a receiver in this offense. 

“That’s something I know I can do,” Harris said via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. “And I know a coach that believed in me and knows I can do it too. [He has] seen me through the years that I’ve been coming up in K.C. and has seen the growth in me. So yeah, I most definitely can do it and I’m going to do it. . . . I am ready for anything that comes my way.”

Lions

Lions RB Kerryon Johnson said he is not concerned about the team drafting second-round RB D’Andre Swift and believes they’ll create a strong tandem. 

“Look, I knew we were going to draft a running back eventually,” Johnson said. “I think we got, in my opinion, definitely one of the top two, so I love having a running mate, I love winning games and I think he can help us do that, so I wasn’t tripping at all.”

Johnson called Swift a “phenomenal player” and a big-play threat. 

“As far as Swift goes, I’m excited,” Johnson said. “He’s a phenomenal player. I remember playing against him in college. I hated seeing him on the (field). Every time we played against Nick Chubb and then Sony (Michel), and I’m telling you, when that kid stepped on the field, I mean, he’s lightning in a bottle. He’s threatening to go 80 yards, 70, 60, every time he touched it. So I’m excited. I can learn from him, he can learn from me. We can all learn from each other and we can all get better and win some games.”

Packers

Packers LT David Bakhtiari, who is entering the final year of his contract, would not comment on his contract situation with the team. 

“Even if I were to be talking,” said Bakhtiari, via Ryan Wood of Packers News.I wouldn’t disclose that information.”

Bakhtiari said he is focusing on playing well through the final year of his deal and will revisit his contract situation when the Packers make a decision. 

At the end of the day,” Bakhtiari said, “I look to how I did in ’16. I get paid to play. I’m the left tackle, and I’m under contract for another season, and that’s what I’m focused on. Whatever the organization decides they want to do moving forward with me, we can have that conversation when it’s there. But, yeah, as of right now, I’m just focusing on making sure I play good football whenever it comes up, because the times right now have definitely been different. So I think a lot of guys right now are changing their preparation and process so that’s been taking the center stage.”

Bakhtiari added that he is not thinking ahead to possibly entering the free-agent market in 2021. 

I’m not really thinking about what goes into the next step because I need to make sure I take this right step that’s happening right now.

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