NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Vikings

     

Bears

The Bears made upgrading tight end one of their top priorities this offseason, and at one point had nine on their roster which was a point of humor for some. Chicago whittled that number down in recent days, cutting Ben Braunecker and trading away Adam Shaheen, making their top three of Jimmy Graham, second-round rookie Cole Kmet and Demetrius Harris apparent. 

“We’ve got a great group of guys,” Bears HC Matt Nagy said via the Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain. “I mean Jimmy coming in here with the experience that he has, I told you he’s got a little chip on his shoulder right now which I like. Demetrius Harris I have a history with from Kansas City so we have a plan with him. We drafted obviously Cole Kmet and then we have a nice group of other guys that we’re excited to see really come in and compete.”

  • Bears GM Ryan Pace suggested the change to the 2021 cap wouldn’t affect anything they wanted to do, which Fishbain interpreted to mean an extension for WR Allen Robinson is still on the table. 
  • Pace thinks the battle at cornerback for playing time will be one of the most intriguing on the roster: “There’s a lot of young, intriguing players there from the (Kevin) Tolivers and the Artie Burns, and the Jaylon Johnson‘s that will be really intriguing and fascinating to let this thing play out.”
  • Per ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson, Bears HC Matt Nagy says the quarterback competition is wide open and the team will be evaluating Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles on every play, not just every throw. 
  • Nagy says the coaching staff will be transparent with both players about what they’re doing well, what they need to improve on and where they stand: “When the time comes when we inevitably need to make a decision, trust me it’s not going to be a surprise to them. That’s where I think open communication helps.” (Dan Wiederer)

Lions

Kyle Meinke of MLive posted an updated 53-man roster projection on Friday for the Lions.

Vikings

  • KSTP’s Darren Wolfson says there’s nothing percolating as far as an offer from the Vikings for DE Everson Griffen. However, he adds there’s been external chatter and there is mutual interest in a reunion between the two sides if they can compromise on the money. 
  • The Athletic’s Arif Hasan writes Vikings DT Armon Watts is the logical next man up at nose tackle after Michael Pierce opted out. Vikings DT Shamar Stephen is another option, though he was a potential cut before. 
  • Hasan mentions free-agent DT Damon Harrison could be an option for the Vikings, though he also took a step back in 2019. 
  • In terms of veterans the team could surprisingly move on from this summer, Hasan highlights Vikings G Pat Elflein
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