- BearsWire’s Alyssa Barbieri notes Bears LB Roquan Smith was named the No. 6 inside linebacker in the NFL after a breakout 2020 season which should put him back on track for a massive contract extension from Chicago.
- The team just exercised his fifth-year option this past offseason, which puts him under contract through the 2022 season.
- USA Today’s Jeff Risdon outlines the Lions’ three-way battle for the starting No. 2 outside corner vacancy, with veteran free agent signing Quinton Dunbar, 2020 incumbent starter Amani Oruwariye and third-round rookie Ifeatu Melifonwu the candidates.
- Risdon says the veteran Dunbar should ultimately win the job and oust Oruwariye, with Melifonwu a wildcard who might even see snaps at safety to help Detroit with another weakness there.
- Risdon adds it would be a surprise but also not entirely out of the question if 2020 first-round CB Jeff Okudah lost his starting job. Like everyone else in the secondary, Okudah struggled in 2020.
- Risdon thinks if the Patriots were to cut WR N’Keal Harry, the Lions might be one of the teams to put in a waiver claim. However, he’s not sure they’ll be interested enough to trade a pick for Harry given they have other big-bodied receivers they signed as undrafted rookies.
Vikings OLB Anthony Barr has high hopes for the Vikings in 2021.
“I really do believe that we have a Super Bowl-winning team this year. Obviously there’s a lot of steps to get to that point, and I’ve been through good seasons and bad seasons with this team. But every time we’ve had a tough year, we’ve always bounced back,” Barr said, via Jeff Wald of KMSP. “I really feel like this year is going to be special.”