NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says sources tell him Seahawks QB Russell Wilson likes the Bears as a potential trade destination because he thinks they have an emerging offensive line, a solid offensive mind in HC Matt Nagy and an intriguing market in Chicago. 
  • Fowler adds to keep an eye on former Washington QB Alex Smith given his familiarity with Nagy. He adds the sense is both the Bears and QB Mitchell Trubisky could use a fresh start from each other. 
  • The Bears are looking at multiple avenues to create cap space, including restructures for S Eddie Jackson and C Cody Whitehair. (Fowler)

Lions

Lions’ new GM Brad Holmes said they are still determining whether to use the franchise tag on WR Kenny Golladay this offseason, but his focus is on making the “best possible decision.” 

“I don’t think there’s any debate that Kenny has shown the ability to be a No. 1 receiver in this league,” Holmes said, via ProFootballTalk. “With that skill set that everybody knows that he has, that we all know he has, and being at where we’re at a roster standpoint, there’s also been no debate that Kenny has been at the forefront of our mind in terms of making sure that we make the best possible decision for not only the Lions but for Kenny. I wish I had a more direct answer to you to tell you exactly what we’re going to do, but out of respect for that process we’ll keep that in-house.”

Holmes added that he likes the “crop of quarterbacks” available in the 2021 NFL Draft 

“I like the crop of quarterbacks that are coming out in this year’s draft,” said Holmes, via the team’s official Youtube. “When you’re picking inside the top 10, you better know every single position regardless of what your circumstances currently are on your roster.”

Holmes wouldn’t use direct names when describing some of the quarterback prospects he is looking at but referred to three players who all have different playing styles. 

I think the quarterback position in general, what’s cool about this year is that they’re in all different flavors,” Holmes said. “You have a guy that can actually do it all, that can do it from the pocket, do it with his legs. You haven another guy that probably a little bit more does it with his legs, a little bit more being creative. There’s another guy that actually probably does it more from the pocket. So all the different flavors makes it very, very intriguing in terms of when you’re looking across the whole scope of the class of these quarterbacks.”

  • NJ.com’s Mike Kaye thinks the Lions are a candidate to sign Eagles LB Nathan Gerry for his special teams contributions if nothing else. 

Packers

Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett is confident that former first-round pick QB Jordan Love will have a better understanding of their system in his second year. 

It’s going to be a challenge for him,” Hackett said, via the Packers’ Twitter. “Obviously, we don’t know what’s going to happen right now with how we’re going to be able to work with the players. I think, always, being in the system for a second year is huge for the quarterback, understanding the language, understanding how we go about our everyday process.”

Hackett reiterated that Love needs more time at practice and expects him to make strides with his development in training camp. 

Even just being able to get out there and practice — I mean, that’s huge. So I think for him, it’s just growing more in the offensive system, even more than he already has. Just making it his own,” said Hackett. “Obviously, we’re very excited if we can be able to practice because I think that’s something he needs. The last time he was able to really get after the practices was in training camp. So if that’s kind of what we’re dealt, then it’ll be training camp when he can really make some strides and get those full-time, speed reps. Besides that, it’s about studying and he’s got to work on his own because we don’t get to see him.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said they “certainly could” use the franchise tag on impending free-agent RB Aaron Jones.

“We certainly could. I think it’s something we’re working through,” Gutekunst said, via ProFootballTalk. “I think, again, it’s not a philosophical thing to avoid it. I do think there’s usually better ways to go about it. But certainly if I think as we get down the road here over the next week or so, if that becomes what’s in the best interest of the Packers, I think we’ll do that. But at this point, we haven’t done that.”

Vikings

  • Per Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, Vikings DE Stephen Weatherly signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal that includes up to an additional  $500,000 in sack incentives starting at three sacks. 
  • Weatherly thinks returning to Minnesota will be good for both parties after he struggled in his year away and the Vikings also didn’t have as strong of a pass rush: “I think familiarity is a nice aspect of coming back to Minnesota I already know the standards, the expectations. So I can help out in any way I’m needed.” (Tomasson)
  • The Vikings would like to re-sign restricted free agent RB Mike Boone but for less than the original round tender. (Tomasson)

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