NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Vikings


  • 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.”

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