NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora says league sources told him the Bears were actually much more interested in potentially trading for QB Carson Wentz than was let on. 
  • La Canfora adds the Bears had internal conversations about Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger in case the two sides had been unable to reach an agreement on a new contract and Pittsburgh had cut the veteran.
  • One NFL executive told La Canfora their sense is the Bears are desperate to find an upgrade at quarterback and they could be willing to throw a ton of future picks into a trade for either Texans QB Deshaun Watson or Seahawks QB Russell Wilson: “There is a real sense of panic in that building. Don’t underestimate how desperate they are.”
  • La Canfora mentions 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo is another name to watch if he shakes free from San Francisco, as he played college ball in Illinois. 

Lions

  • The Athletic’s Chris Burke writes to keep an eye on Chargers QB Tyrod Taylor for the Lions, as he’s a favorite of OC Anthony Lynn and Detroit could save $3 million from moving on from current backup QB Chase Daniel.
  • Burke lists Panthers RB Mike Davis, Lions RB Jamaal Williams, 49ers RB Tevin Coleman, former Texans RB Duke Johnson and Seahawks RB Carlos Hyde as some backup running back options to keep an eye on for the Lions in free agency. 
  • Given his connections to the quarterback and GM, Burke thinks Rams WR Josh Reynolds could be a strong option for the Lions as they look to rebuild their wide receiver room. Rams CB Troy Hill is also a name to watch in the secondary for similar reasons. 
  • The Lions could also make a swap at backup tight end, per Burke, cutting Jesse James and reallocating the cap savings to someone like former Saints TE Jared Cook.
  • Detroit has expressed an interest in improving its depth at tackle, so Burke mentions Cardinals OT Kelvin Beachum, Chiefs OT Mike Remmers and Saints OL James Hurst as some potential options. 
  • Burke highlights Browns DT Larry Ogunjobi, Saints DT Sheldon Rankins and Broncos DT Shelby Harris as options who could provide a pass-rushing presence for the Lions should they be signed in free agency. 
  • If the Lions don’t re-sign DE Romeo Okwara, Burke notes some players who could replace him with connections to the Lions include Rams OLB Leonard Floyd, Chargers DE Melvin Ingram, Rams OLB Samson Ebukam, Saints DE Trey Hendrickson and Jaguars DE Dawuane Smoot.
  • Burke highlights a number of high-profile safeties the Lions could go after if they want to make a splash, including Rams S John Johnson and Falcons S Keanu Neal.
  • LB Jamie Collins has restructured his deal with the Lions. Collins gives up $5 million in base salary (now $3.8 million), with three voidable years added to the end of the deal (2023-25). The move gives Detroit $4 million in additional cap space. (Chris Burke)
  • The Lions have signed CB Michael Ford to a one-year deal worth $1.2 million. The deal includes $400,000 in guaranteed money. (Michael Rothstein)

Packers

  • Rob Demovsky of ESPN cites a “prominent NFL agent with a stellar track record” who expects impending Packers free-agent RB Aaron Jones to earn $9 million per season in a potential deal.
  • As for Green Bay’s other free-agents, the agent believes C Corey Linsley will earn a $10 million average, CB Kevin King will receive $5 million per year, and RB Jamaal Williams will get $4 million.
  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports Green Bay had some discussion about using the tag on Jones and they are still interested in re-signing him. 
  • According to Rapoport, the Packers had extension negotiations with Jones late into last season and offered him a deal of around $9 million per year. Rapoport also reports that talks have now resumed for Jones with a new agent. 
  • Rapoport adds that the Packers would like to finalize a deal sometime before the opening of the free-agent market.
  • Michigan CB Ambry Thomas will meet virtually with the Packers (Justin Melo)

Vikings

  • Per Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, the Vikings likely would need to use the original round tender on RB Mike Boone to have any shot at keeping him, as he’d like to find a bigger role than being Minnesota’s No. 3 back. 

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