NFC Notes: Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Lions

  • The Athletic’s Chris Burke writes Lions RB Bo Scarbrough‘s ability as a power back should help, but he’s not a lock to make the team ahead of fellow RBs Ty Johnson and fifth-round RB Jason Huntley.
  • Burke believes Lions WR Marvin Hall and converted S Jamal Agnew should round out the receiving corps for their speed and return ability, respectively. But if the Lions want another big body, they could turn to WR Chris Lacy with one of those spots instead. 
  • At tight end, Burke could see Detroit keeping a fourth player if 2019 seventh-round TE Isaac Nauta is relied on as a blocking back/fullback. 
  • Burke believes with the change in practice squad rules, the Lions could try to keep OL Oday Aboushi, C Russell Bodine, G Joshua Garnett and G Beau Benzschawel on the PS and shuttle them to the active roster as needed. 
  • Burke says Lions DT Kevin Strong and seventh-round DT Jashon Cornell could be battling for the ninth and final spot on the defensive line. 
  • At linebacker, Burke points out the Lions have an abundance of special teamers and that hurts LB Miles Killebrew‘s chances of sticking. 
  • Burke notes Lions CB Amani Oruwariye would have to be really bad to slip to the roster bubble but with the addition of veteran CB Darryl Roberts, he’s not guaranteed playing time. 
  • Because of his size at 6-4, Burke believes new Lions S Jayron Kearse could edge out 2019 UDFA S C.J. Moore for the final spot at the roster. 
  • Burke projects Lions P Jack Fox will win the positional battle against former Aussie rules footballer Arryn Siposs for the starting job. 

Packers

  • Per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, former Packers CB Tramon Williams said the door remains open to a potential return though he hasn’t spoken with the team recently: “I have spoken to some people who have relayed the messaged that they would love to have me back, but obviously there’s a lot has to happen for that.”
  • Williams said he has not made the decision to retire, though he is concerned about health issues around playing this year. 
  • The NFL and NFLPA are discussing a 2021 salary cap floor of $175 million, which is down from the $198.2 million this year. It’s possible that the figure could be pushed higher, depending on the revenue losses incurred by the league from the 2020 season.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com projects the Packers to have $4,801,285 of cap space next year, assuming the cap is set at $175 million.

Vikings

  • The Athletic’s Chad Graff predicts Vikings OT Brian O’Neill will be the team’s breakout player in 2020 and become a Pro Bowl player. 
  • ESPN’s Courtney Cronin writes the Vikings hold all the leverage over RB Dalvin Cook because of their ability to fine him and the fact he needs to get another accrued season toward unrestricted free agency. Cronin doesn’t think Cook’s holdout, if he ends up holding out, will last past the first week of training camp. 
  • The Vikings also are facing a lot of transition on defense, but Cronin says the team is optimistic the clean slate in the secondary and along the defensive line will help in the long run, particularly at cornerback. 
  • On offense, Cronin says the team’s biggest questions are how quickly first-round WR Justin Jefferson can become a reliable contributor, how much TE Irv Smith grows in his second season and what effect new OC Gary Kubiak has on QB Kirk Cousins
  • Former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum thinks Cook could be an example of players “holding in” instead of holding out. Because of the new CBA rules, Cook could report to the team on time but refuse to practice without a contract, per Tannenbaum. 
  • The Vikings announced head athletic trainer and team infection control officer Eric Sugarman has tested positive for COVID-19. (Peter King)
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