NFC Notes: Keenan Allen, Caleb Williams, Bears, Lions, Vikings


  • Per ESPN’s Kris Rhim, the Chargers ultimately took the Bears’ offer of a fourth-round pick for WR Keenan Allen over others, including a package from the Texans that included a 2025 third-rounder and a swap of picks this year.
  • Rhim notes many teams didn’t engage with the Chargers because Allen’s age and $23 million total 2024 compensation were major concerns. The Bears even asked Allen if he’d be willing to take a pay cut as part of the deal, which he rejected.
  • Bears GM Ryan Poles also discussed a potential extension with Allen: “I try to be intentional with the order that we do extensions, so we’ll review that and kind of see what our order looks like. But for what he stands for, I would love to have him long term.” (Adam Jahns)
  • Continuing on Allen, Poles stated why he made the trade for him: “I thought it was an absolute perfect fit. I don’t think there’s a better receiver in the league that can be better for a young quarterback in terms of understanding the NFL, timing, space, reading defenses. So I think that’s a great addition. It balances the field with DJ on the other side, Cole and Everett at tight end, Swift at running back. We have a lot of really cool things that can get going and allow us to be dynamic and really special.” (Courtney Cronin)
  • Poles talked about new S Kevin Byard: “He’s going to be a really good addition on the back end, communication, leadership. He still has speed. He still has ball skills. And I really think he’s going to affect the defensive group at a high level.” (Jahns)
  • Chicago will host USC QB Caleb Williams at Halas Hall in the first week of April, where they will get their medical evaluations of him. (Jahns)
  • Poles touched on if he was surprised by how the trade market for QB Justin Fields shaped up: “I was a little bit surprised. But as you do research and we have conversations you have to kind of adjust to the market… if you look at the beginning, there are probably teams that are looking at the draft for guys to fill in. On the back end, playoff teams probably have someone in place. So really it was a smaller pool of teams.” (Cronin)
  • Poles on Williams: “When you talk to his teammates, they don’t like him, they love him. His leadership, how he brings people together. He’s intentional with his leadership. Same goes with the staff.” (Jahns)
  • He continued: “I’m having a hard time finding a person that doesn’t like him or even love him and thinks that he can reach the highest limits. The feedback’s been good.” (Jahns)
  • Poles emphasized how important getting a stable center is for a rookie quarterback, which is why they traded for Ryan Bates and signed Coleman Shelton: “Very important for a young quarterback to have that center experience. To be able to call and make adjustments to the protections, to help and assist that way.” (Cronin


  • Lions HC Dan Campbell noted they were still in contact with WR Josh Reynolds with hopes of getting a deal done. (Justin Rogers)
  • Reynolds later signed a two-year deal worth up to $14 million with the Broncos. 
  • On the defensive side, Campbell mentioned CB Brian Branch could spend some time at safety this season. (Kyle Meinke)
  • Campbell also implied they will be looking to add another CB in the draft or free agency following the release of CB Cameron Sutton. (Meinke)
  • Detroit GM Brad Holmes on their offseason: “I truly believe this was our best free agency of all that we’ve had since we’ve been here. The reason why I say that is through our planning and process this year, we have these No. 1 targets, and we were able to get every single one of our No. 1 targets.” (Meinke)
  • Holmes added they began negotiations with G Jonah Jackson before last season. After those talks didn’t go anywhere, they turned their attention to guards Graham Glasgow and Kevin Zeitler as their “Plan A” for 2024. (Meinke)
  • Auburn CB Nehemiah Pritchett has a 30 visit scheduled with the Lions. (Justin Melo)


Vikings owner Mark Wilf says he still wants the team to be in a position to win despite the fact that they are undergoing a notable quarterback transition, bringing in QB Sam Darnold to replace departing veteran QB Kirk Cousins who is headed to Atlanta.

“We want to win every single game and every step along the way,” Wilf said, via ESPN. “So how that falls, what will happen on the field, we’ll see. It’s important our fans to know that that’s always our commitment and that’s how we approach it. At the same time, we believe the way we’re building this is going to get to sustained success. We’re, like our fans, not pleased with our record last year. We want to be competing for playoffs, championships, division titles and Super Bowl championships, all of the above.”

“That’s part of the game,” Wilf added. “That’s something you have to be prepared for and I think [general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and coach Kevin O’Connell] will be the first to tell you they take that on themselves. And I think frankly, [there is] some optimism for this coming season. I think a lot of young players got some significant playing time last year, so we’re expecting a nice rise on that front. If it was an exact and easy science, we wouldn’t have 32 teams vying like we do.”

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