NFC Notes: Lions, Packers, Vikings


Lions RB Jamaal Williams believes the NFL is trying to take his “personality away” with the number of fines he’s received for touchdown celebrations. 

“Now I get fined for this stuff. I just feel like they’re trying to take my personality away, my joy,” Williams said, via Pro Football Talk. “Because now, I literally have to stop doing it. So now, when I score, I’m literally just gonna sit down and pout like a little baby or something.”

Williams thinks the NFL contradicts itself by playing his touchdown celebrations in league-sponsored highlight reels. 

“I’m doing nothing wrong. They’re just being weenies,” Williams said. “They want to fine me, yet put all that stuff up there, brand it and put me up there and use it. They want to take my money, though.”

  • According to Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, the Lions hired former CB Dre’ Bly to become their next cornerbacks’ coach. Bly was recently the University of North Carolina’s cornerbacks’ coach from 2019-2022. 
  • Lions S Tracy Walker posted on social media that he’ll be ready for OTAs.


  • The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman writes that while it might not be the most important factor in Packers QB Aaron Rodgers‘ decision, not having to share the stage with Buccaneers QB Tom Brady when they’re inducted into the Hall of Fames might induce him to keep playing another season. 
  • Schneidman adds Brady’s retirement would also boost the market for Rodgers if either he or the Packers decide it’s time to part ways. 


  • ESPN’s Kevin Seifert writes it’s entirely possible the Vikings could have nine new starters out of 11 on defense in 2023. On the defensive line, Harrison Phillips is still under contract and should be back. But Dalvin Tomlinson and Jonathan Bullard are pending free agents, though Seifert says Tomlinson could be back depending on who is hired at defensive coordinator and the interest he gets in free agency. 
  • The Vikings traded for DL Ross Blacklock last August but Seifert doesn’t see him factoring significantly into their plans after be inactive for the last six games of the season. 
  • The biggest decision for the Vikings on defense might be at edge rusher, per Seifert, as OLBs Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith had almost inverted double-digit sack seasons. Smith started fast and finished slow due to injuries, while Hunter came on strong at the end of the season. 
  • Seifert notes Hunter will be in a contract year in 2023 and could be an extension candidate, but that could be an expensive proposition. Smith is a potential cap casualty, but Seifert says moving on from either would create a major hole at edge rusher. 
  • He expects the Vikings to move on from at least one of either LB Jordan Hicks or Eric Kendricks to make room for 2021 third-round LB Brian Asamoah, who Minnesota is high on. 
  • In the secondary, Seifert says CBs Patrick Peterson, Chandon Sullivan and Duke Shelley are all on expiring contracts, while Cameron Dantzler and 2021 rookies Andrew Booth and Akayleb Evans remain in the fold. Peterson wants to be back but Seifert doesn’t know if the Vikings have mutual interest in bringing back the soon-to-be-33-year-old. 
  • Shelley played well when pressed into starting action, while Dantzler’s role decreased as the season progressed, per Seifert. Booth and Evans had serious injury issues, so Seifert isn’t sure how comfortable the Vikings would feel relying on them as primary starters in 2023.
  • At safety, veteran Harrison Smith, 2021 first-rounder Lewis Cine and Camryn Bynum are all under contract. Cine is coming off a season-ending injury and Seifert adds Smith’s contract will almost certainly need to be reworked in some fashion, as the 34-year-old will count nearly $20 million against the cap as things stand.  

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