NFC Notes: Lions, Packers, Vikings


The initial sense after the Lions and Rams’ blockbuster quarterback swap earlier this year was that Los Angeles tossed in a second first-round pick to get Detroit to take QB Jared Goff and his onerous contract, making Goff just a temporary stopgap solution until the Lions could find their franchise guy. Lions GM Brad Holmes, who was a part of the Rams front office that was so high on Goff initially, pushed back on that characterization, however. 

“He’s been successful. He has a lot of wins. He’s been to the playoffs,” Holmes said via Tim Twentyman of the team website. “I don’t know why he doesn’t have a chance to be successful. There’s nothing wrong with winning. The outside narrative has been like, ‘Oh, you got the guy for two years to bridge and then that’s it.’ Ok, I can name you some stop-gaps. I wouldn’t say (Goff is one).

“Before the trade, I remember (Rams GM) Les (Snead) asked me if I wanted Jared and I said, ‘Yes, I do want Jared.’ He said, ‘Ok, I’m just asking because I’m getting a lot of calls.’ Within that QB circle of teams that needed one, Jared was sought after, just as Carson Wentz was sought after, just as Sam Darnold was sought after. That Stafford (was sought after).

“I never viewed (Goff) as a bridge option. He’s been a winning quarterback. His resume speaks for itself.”

Holmes went on to say he thought Goff got a bad rap with the Rams and from what he can see so far, he’s approaching this season with a huge chip on his shoulder to prove his doubters wrong. 

“He got a bad rap (in LA). He did,” Holmes said. “I didn’t think it was always fair, but everyone has their own opinion about that. But, end of the day, he’s in a great place right now. He’s got the chip on his shoulder, but it’s very subtle, because he’s so calm and collective and even keel, which I always thought elevated his game.

“That’s always been a plus for him. He isn’t walking around like, ‘I’m pissed off and angry,’ but you can kind of tell with some of the things he says and his mannerisms like, ‘Ok, he’s at that point.'”


Packers’ LT David Bakhtiari says that he is nearly at the halfway mark with his rehabilitation from a torn ACL. 

“I’m about at the halfway point,” Bakhtiari said during an interview on The Pat McAfee Show. “It’s been really good. I’m really excited about the progress I’ve been making. It’s coming along pretty well. I’m excited about where I’m at.”

  • According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, the Packers believe that “poor conditioning” contributed to the regression of LB Preston Smith in 2020.
  • Demovsky adds that he was likely well above his playing weight of 265 lbs and that everyone can now see he is putting in the proper work during the offseason.


Vikings S Harrison Smith said he is ecstatic to have DE Danielle Hunter return after opting out of last season and to also play alongside recently signed DT Sheldon Richardson. 

“Obviously the news of Danielle coming back, and then it was like, ‘Oh, we got Sheldon too.’ It was a pretty big time for us,” Smith said, via Craig Peters of the team’s official site. “He’s an absolute playmaker, and I’m happy he’s back. He’s a great guy in the locker room, always got a smile on his face, and he’s always ready to work.”

Richardson mentioned that he couldn’t “come to an agreement” with the Browns, resulting in him returning to the Vikings after playing in Minnesota back in 2018. 

“You know, I started something there. Honestly, just couldn’t come to an agreement with what I wanted from Cleveland,” Richardson said. “And me being cool with the organization here and knowing everything with what [Head Coach Mike Zimmer] and [Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator Andre Patterson] bring to the table for me … they put me in position to make plays earlier in my career. It was a perfect fit.”

Richardson is confident that he can still be “one of the dominant” defensive linemen in the NFL.

“I still want to be one of the dominant guys in the league, like I’ve been,” said Richardson. “Other than that, honestly, what I learned about myself is that I really don’t need media for [fame and attention]. I’m not looking for popularity; I’m looking to be productive and making sure the guys who play on the field, who play with me and against me, respect me. That’s it.”

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