NFC Notes: Matthew Stafford, Lions, Packers, Vikings


Former Lions QB Matthew Stafford talked about his time with the franchise ahead of his first Super Bowl appearance with the Rams, who traded for him last offseason.

“They had an expectation of what I was going to do when I was out there, what it was going to look like when they came to the Detroit Lions game, and I wanted to make sure that that was their experience more often than not,” Stafford said, via Pro Football Talk. “And then as far as what Detroit fans are, I mean, they were extremely loyal, they were great, they were passionate — all the things you want fans to be. Unbelievable to me and my wife and my family and the community, how many times we were out to eat or playing with our kids in the park, whatever it was, and the support that we felt from them not only when the times were good. But when my wife was going through some of the things that she was going through health-wise, or maybe we weren’t winning football games, they were always supportive. And people cared about not only the Lions and me, but my family and us as people.

“So, always gonna have a soft spot for Detroit in my heart and just appreciate it. If we sit here and say we’re not a product of our experiences, or we haven’t learned from some of the things that we’ve had go on in the past, picked up things from great teammates or coaches along the way, we’d be lying to ourselves. I do appreciate so much just everybody’s support. And I know that when I’m out there playing, whether it’s this week in the Super Bowl or any other game, I’m a representation of those experiences that I’ve had with those people. I feel like every time I step out there on the field, I’m playing for not really myself, but for everybody that’s helped get me there.”


  • ESPN’s Rob Demovsky writes that he expects the Packers to restructure the contracts for LT David Bakhtiari, RB Aaron Jones and DT Kenny Clark no matter what happens this offseason. An extension for CB Jaire Alexander to lower his fifth-year option is also a likely outcome. 
  • Demovksy notes if Packers QB Aaron Rodgers wants WR Randall Cobb back, the veteran will likely have to take a pay cut. If not, he’s an obvious cap casualty to save $6.8 million. 
  • Other cut candidates, per Demovsky, include OLB Za’Darius Smith, RT Billy Turner, K Mason Crosby and TE Marcedes Lewis. Smith’s release would free up almost $16 million, while Turner, Crosby and Lewis would be $3 million apiece. 
  • The Packers could free up $12 million by cutting OLB Preston Smith but Demovsky thinks they could alternatively try to sign him to an extension to lower that hit and keep him on the roster. 
  • Demovsky writes Packers DL Dean Lowry and S Adrian Amos seem like candidates to be restructured but the Packers could also try to talk them into pay cuts. 


  • According to the Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson, Rams TEs coach Wes Phillips is someone to “keep an eye on” for the Vikings’ offensive coordinator job. 
  • Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports former Maryland DC Brian Stewart is a candidate for Minnesota’s defensive back’s coach job. 

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