NFC Notes: Bears, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

Tight ends are notorious for taking some time to transition to the NFL from college. But the Bears are hopeful second-round TE Cole Kmet can be a part of the solution in 2020 after Chicago got nothing from the position a year ago. So far, the early returns have the team optimistic. 

“I would say Cole is on schedule — if not maybe a tick ahead of schedule,” Bears TE coach Clancy Barone said via Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times. “Not to make it sound too grand, but I have zero concerns about Cole Kmet. I really do.”

  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune thinks the Bears are happy with the options on the roster to replace DT Eddie Goldman, including DL Bilal Nichols and DT John Jenkins
  • Bears DC Chuck Pagano said the team is still limiting second-round CB Jaylon Johnson as he comes off shoulder surgery this offseason. However, Chicago could really use Johnson stepping up as the No. 2 corner. (Adam Jahns)

Packers

Vikings

Like most rookie tight ends, Vikings 2019 second-rounder Irv Smith had a transition period in his first year in the NFL. But going into 2020 with a full year in the system under Smith’s belt, the Vikings have high hopes for Smith as a move tight end alongside starter Kyle Rudolph

“He has a skill set that we need to be able to utilize with the offense,” Vikings HC Mike Zimmer said via the Athletic’s Chad Graff. “You can get linebackers in space and safeties in space and actually sometimes corners. So it depends on the matchups we get, and we’re always trying to look for matchups we can exploit.”

  • ESPN’s Courtney Cronin writes the Vikings anticipated RB Dalvin Cook would sign either last week or following an in-person meeting Saturday to wrap up extension talks. 
  • She adds the offer on the table from the Vikings isn’t dramatically different from the one extended to Cook in June.
  • Though talks have broken off, it’s believed that offer is still on the table should Cook change his mind but Cronin notes the Vikings aren’t willing to engage in more back-and-forth and have presented this as their final offer. 
  • Zimmer believes defensive end will be a better fit for former DT Jalyn Holmes: “It’s probably a better spot for him. Things don’t happen quite as fast out there at end.” (Chris Tomasson)
  • Zimmer told reporters the team wants to decide on a starting left guard soon. Dakota Dozier and Aviante Collins have been taking the first-team reps there so far. (Andrew Krammer)
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