The people who run NFL teams are famously paranoid and extracting information from them can be a chore. But new Lions HC Dan Campbell is a straight shooter and had no issue discussing where Detroit needs to improve its roster, as he pointed out it’s pretty obvious from looking where they need help.
“We understand where we’re at with this. You can go through the roster and it’s no secret that receiver is somewhat of a need,” Campbell said in a Tuesday morning press conference. “Cornerback, we don’t have a lot of depth. And you’re always looking for competition in areas. Your linebackers, your inside D-line. You probably need O-line depth. So there’s all kinds of holes that we have here — but no different than any other team.”
Campbell said they’re looking to address needs in free agency so they aren’t a distraction during the draft.
“Let’s not feel like we have [to say], well we don’t really love this guy, but man we need a linebacker. We don’t really love this guy, but man we need an inside defensive lineman,” Campbell said. “We’ll find a way to address some of these spots. And if it’s got to be some of these free agents who maybe aren’t quite as talented, but man they’re gritty, salty guys that know how to compete and they’ll hold their own in there, we’ll find those guys.”
- Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal reports that the Packers approached QB Aaron Rodgers about a restructured contract around the time of their NFC Championship game loss to the Buccaneers on January 24 in order to free up cap space.
- In regards to Rodgers’ comments about his uncertain future in Green Bay, Wilde says multiple sources indicated that Rodgers was seeking a “longer-term commitment” as the Packers’ starter after they drafted Jordan Love last year.
- When asked about whether he has spoken to Rodgers about a restructured deal, GM Brian Gutekunst responded that they have “reached out to a number of players” in order to help their cap situation: “With all of our players, I keep whatever conversations we have confidential. But I will say we’ve reached out to a number of players — obviously David Bakhtiari being one who we’ve already gone down that route with him — working with those guys to kind of find solutions to this cap issue. I’m appreciative of those guys. I think everybody wants to try to put the best football team out there in ‘21 that we can.”
- Rodgers currently has two years left on his contract. Gutekunst added he does not “foresee” the Packers extending players with more than one-year left on their deals but it would require a “unique” situation: “That’s a good question. I don’t think there’s ever a precedent you cannot set. I will say in these times, they are unusual and unique. If we decided to do something like that, it would be because of the uniqueness of this year. I don’t foresee us going down that route, but we would never close the door on something that we think could really help us as a football team moving forward.”
- Oklahoma State OT Teven Jenkins is scheduled to have a virtual meeting with the Packers. (Justin Melo)
- Tulsa’s Zaven Collins will meet virtually with the Packers. (Justin Melo)
Vikings’ DE Stephen Weatherly is excited to return to the franchise and be reunited with DC Andre Patterson.
“Playing with Dre and knowing and understanding the level of expectations, it’s just really nice to know those things going into a situation with a coaching staff,” Weatherly said, via Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune. “I was eager to jump at that chance again.”
Weatherly did admit that he struggled to learn the defense for the Carolina Panthers when he joined the team, later having his season ended by finger surgery.
“It took me a while to really learn my place in the defense,” Weatherly said. “I’d only known Minnesota, so I’d always known what was always expected of me for each situation. It took me a while to find my bearings, then when I did, I got injured a couple weeks later.”