NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

Bears GM Ryan Pace admitted that they “definitely need more” out of the quarterback position in their season-ending press conference. 

As far as the plan at quarterback, to get to where we want to go, we definitely need more out of that position,” said Pace, via Adam Jahns of The Athletic. “We know that. What does that entail? That is what this whole offseason is about.”

Regarding the Bears’ evaluation of the position, executive George McCaskey said they will examine each of Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles“body of work” and determine whether the “relationship should continue.” 

“We have an evaluation process that’s conducted at the end of each season,” McCaskey said. “We take the individual’s body of work and make a determination as best we can based on that body of work, whether that relationship should continue.”

Pace mentioned that he still feels Foles has “some evaluation left” given he missed time with a hip injury and has two years remaining on his contract. 

“With Foles specifically, as we look at that, and I reflect on him and that move and he’s under contract for us, I respect the way he handled a lot of adversity this year, not just for himself in the quarterback room,” Pace said. “He was a leader in the room as a starter or as a backup. And I think you go back to when he was playing and there were some things that, in fairness to him, the offensive line was a little unsettled and the run game wasn’t quite where we wanted it to be. And then unfortunately he got injured. So I think there’s still some evaluation left out there on him.”

Pace reiterated that the Bears have a “big decision” this offseason at the quarterback position. 

“We talk about the quarterback position and how critical that is to any team’s success and we understand that,” Pace said. “And that’s why it will be a big focus of us and a big decision for us.”

Lions

  • Per the Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan, Lions RB Adrian Peterson was ordered to pay $8.3 million on a defaulted loan. Peterson has had a lot of financial issues that have burned through most of his considerable career earnings. 
  • Nick Underhill reports that Saints assistant GM Jeff Ireland was very much in the mix for the Lions’ GM job before they hired Brad Holmes on Thursday. 

Packers

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has done a good job of putting the replacement talk on the backburner, as first-round QB Jordan Love has been out of sight and out of mind on the bench while Rodgers has led the Packers to a 13-3 record, the No. 1 seed and put together a potential MVP campaign. But Rodgers hasn’t forgotten about what Green Bay signaled by drafting Love. He’s not bitter or anticipating this being his last year with the Packers, but he knows the end is closer than the beginning. 

“I’ve really tried to savor every moment this year and enjoy the heck out of everything, like just hearing the sounds and feeling the interactions in the locker room and just enjoying those moments,” Rodgers said via NFL Media’s Michael Silver. “It’s not necessarily, ‘Look, this is my last year in Green Bay,’ but I know that my time in the league is way closer to the end than the beginning, and I just want to really savor all the things that make our game what it is, and the experience what it is.

“It’s so much more than just playing on Sundays or Mondays or Thursdays — or Saturdays, as we did this year. It’s the joking in the locker room, it’s the banter, it’s the meaningful conversations, side conversations in practice — special things that a lot of people don’t get to see, that you’re going to think about when it’s all said and done.

“I don’t think that this is my last year by any means, but I’m definitely enjoying everything as much as I can this year, especially with how strange it’s been without fans.”

  • Tom Silverstein, citing a source, reports that Packers’ recently signed OT Jared Veldheer tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday before being allowed to enter Green Bay’s facilities, which means Veldheer’s positive virus test came on Tuesday morning.
  • Although the lineman practiced with the team on Tuesday and took part in meetings as well, tracing has not determined any close-contacts. 

Vikings

  • The Athletic’s Chad Graff notes even though the Vikings don’t have a lot of cap space, he could see them prioritizing adding a starting guard in free agency with someone like Bills G Jon Feliciano
  • Graff also thinks the Vikings will extend S Harrison Smith to preserve a little bit of stability on the back end of their defense and add cap space. 
  • Graff notes Vikings HC Mike Zimmer has told Gary Kubiak he’s welcome to stick around in a reduced role, and if Minnesota promotes his son, QB coach Klint Kubiak, to offensive coordinator, that could be a consideration. 
  • Graff expects the Vikings to cut TE Kyle Rudolph, as it saves them cap space and they have younger options behind him who need playing time. 
  • Vikings GM Rick Spielman said the team will likely wait to make any changes to their front office following the departure of assistant GM George Paton until after the draft: “We will stay status quo as we go forward. I believe we have a lot of great people in this building.” (Courtney Cronin)

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