NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

  • Per the Athletic’s Mike Sando, one of the challenges facing Bears WR Allen Robinson is the cap in 2021 will actually be lower than when he signed his three-year deal with the Bears in 2017. 
  • Robinson’s two-year receiving yards average also ranks at the bottom of a list of comparable receivers who have either recently received contract extensions or are in line to receive one. 
  • The good news for Robinson is if the Bears were to use the franchise tag on him it would have to be at 120 percent of his 2020 salary which comes out to $18 million. The tag for other receivers in 2021 is projected to shrink to $15.3 million. 
  • Former agent and CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry says if Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky doesn’t lose the starting job over the rest of this season, Chicago could keep him without committing to a long-term deal by using the franchise tag at around $24 million.

Lions

Through two games, the Lions defense has been mostly bad, playing a large role in Detroit giving up some double-digit leads and failing to record any turnovers and just two sacks. However, Lions DC Cory Undlin cautioned that it’s a long season and neither he nor the players are hitting the panic button yet. 

“My attack and my vision for these guys is always the same,” Undlin said via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. “I believe in them. We have good players. I don’t have any doubt. Have we played the best we can play? Obviously not. We’re 0-2. But at this point right now coming up to the third game, we have 14 games left. So let’s not panic, all right? Let’s not forget that we haven’t played great, I haven’t coached good enough. Let’s not forget that.”

Packers

Packers WR Davante Adams had to leave Sunday’s win against the Lions with a hamstring injury. While Adams reportedly was pushing to get back into the game and was held out given the outcome was already decided, he wouldn’t commit to being ready to return for Green Bay’s Week 3 matchup against the Saints in primetime on Sunday night. 

“It’s too early to tell,” Adams said via Mike Spofford of the team’s website. “It’s feeling better. I think we’re making good progress every day. But we’re just going to wait it out and see. It’ll probably be a decision that’s made later in the week most likely, just to get a full assessment, give me the full amount of time I need to get right, to a real comfortable spot. Obviously I don’t think we’re there just yet, but we’re making great strides on the way there.”

  • Former agent and CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry notes the 2021 franchise tag at $17.54 million might be the most appealing option for the Packers to retain LT David Bakhtiari given the top of the tackle market has shot up to $22 million a year. 
  • Packers OL Elgton Jenkins moved from guard to tackle in Week 1 and Packers OL coach Aaron Stenavich called him a five-tool offensive lineman: “He does have that rare ability to be able to handle any position on the offensive line.” (Matt Schneidman)
  • Packers DT Kenny Clark (groin) returned to practice for the first time since his injury Week 1. (Schneidman)
  • Packers LB Preston Smith said 2019 first-round OLB Rashan Gary‘s confidence is “through the roof” and it’s helping him be a lot more productive than his rookie year: “This year, he’s just been different. It’s hard to put a finger on what it is, but he’s just been different.” (Ryan Wood)
  • The Packers have a tryout scheduled with OT Evin Ksiezarczyk next Tuesday. (Evan Birchfield)

Vikings

Given the poor history of 0-2 teams and their playoff chances, the alarms are going off for the Vikings right now. And while QB Kirk Cousins hasn’t been the team’s only problem, he hasn’t been the solution either, especially after his awful, three-interception game on Sunday where he nearly came away with a 0.0 passer rating. Cousins acknowledged the urgency but said it’s not going to change his preparation. 

“I always have urgency,” Cousins said via Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Going into Week 1, I feel it. Going into Week 2, I feel it. And certainly now going into Week 3, I feel it. The urgency doesn’t really go down, but it also probably doesn’t go up, just because you only get 16 of these opportunities. All March, April, May, I’m at my house training five, six days a week for only 16 opportunities. The urgency’s there, but we need the production to go with it.”

  • In a survey of NFL analytics personnel by ESPN’s Seth Walder, the Vikings were mentioned in the second tier of teams as far as being analytically advanced.
  • Former agent and CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry notes a second franchise tag for Vikings DE Yannick Ngakoue would be 120 percent of his renegotiated number, not his original tag. 
  • That means Minnesota would tag Ngakoue for around $15 million in 2021 not the $21+ million he was slated to make before. 
  • New Vikings LB Todd Davis could start in the team’s base defense with LB Eric Wilson becoming the other every-down linebacker next to Eric Kendricks. (Chris Tomasson)
  • Vikings fourth-round LB Troy Dye has a mid-foot sprain that is mild and he should be ready to return from injured reserve after the minimum three weeks. (Tom Pelissero)
  • Dye was slated to replace Anthony Barr in the starting lineup but now he’ll compete with the other options above. 
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