NFC Notes: Roquan Smith, Bears, Lions, Aaron Rodgers, Packers, Vikings


  • ESPN’s Dan Graziano mentions the Bears could be waiting to see how RB David Montgomery adjusts to the new scheme before committing to him with an extension, and others on the depth chart like RB Khalil Herbert could cut into his workload. 
  • PFF’s Doug Kyed notes Bears LB Roquan Smith is seeking at least $20 million a year in an extension from the Bears. Chicago’s current offer meets that, but only because of an inflated final year and it also includes salary de-escalators that Smith objects to. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes it’s a little tricky to find potential trade destinations for Smith, as he’s not a fit for every scheme, needs a new deal and likely would cost a premium pick to get Chicago to part ways with him. However, the Chargers and Broncos are contending teams with a need at linebacker that could make sense. 
  • The Athletic’s Adam Jahns believes the Bears have not decided whether they will fine Smith for missing practice. 
  • Bears HC Matt Eberflus wouldn’t elaborate on why Smith didn’t practice after being activated from the PUP list and said he still hasn’t spoken to Smith about his recent trade request: “I have not talked to him about it so I have no further comment on it.” (Kevin Fishbain)
  • Chicago hosted P Brock Miller for a tryout. (Brad Biggs)


Lions HC Dan Campbell said CB Jeff Okudah has progressed physically and appears to be in great shape.

He looks good,” Campbell said, via Lions Wire. “The physical side of everything he’s doing is good. He looks good…we have no concern about the Achilles. Physically he looks great.

Campbell did allude to Okudah needing to be present on the field and produce entering his third year in the league.

He needs reps. He needs to play. That’s the thing to never lose sight of — he’s going into Year 3 and he hasn’t really played.


Packers QB Aaron Rodgers spoke about the relationship he’s formed with HC Matt LaFleur, something that’s played a big role in keeping him in Green Bay despite all the turmoil and speculation in recent seasons. 

“When you get to know somebody off the field, you know how they tick and what makes them go. You see everything from a different perspective,” Rodgers said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “I know Matt’s a grinder. Matt’s a very creative person. He’s very driven, very hard on himself. I also know off the field how much he cares. And it’s because of how much he cares that he spends so much time in here, grinding through the week of game planning, film watching and preparation. So when there comes a situation where he might call something and I’m like, ‘Eh … I don’t know,’ I just go back to, ‘You know what, this dude’s been grinding all week, and I bet you he has a specific reason he likes this as a No. 1 play.’ And I might have thought it was down the list a little bit, but we just trust him and lean into it and vice versa.”

Rodgers also discussed his relationship with GM Brian Gutekunst and how the two men had to make it a point to talk more and understand each other’s point of view to move past the conflict. 

“My role is to play quarterback, and I’ve been playing a long time, seen a lot of football. I feel like in 18 years you become a pretty good judge of talent,” Rodgers said. “Players, I think, they see the talent, see the ability, see the character. Coaches see the performance, that’s how they kind of view things. Personnel people would see the potential. So in a win-now situation as you get to be an older player, and you feel like the window is getting smaller, you want to win now and the GM’s gotta build his team for the future. It’s a fine line balancing those things. I hadn’t spent a lot of time with Brian off the field. And through the conversations we had, it allowed me to see the character of the man a little better.”

The Packers have made it a point to involve Rodgers in more transactions and Gutekunst says it’s a credit to Rodgers in that he didn’t feel like it was a hostage situation. 

“It was just frank conversations and just being really, really honest with where everyone was at,” Gutekunst said. “I’m super appreciative of it. I don’t know if every player could do that and then have the ability to see it from different people’s views, like he was talking about. So yeah, I think from that point on, it’s just kind of been: ‘Keep moving forward.’ It seems like forever ago, even though it really wasn’t that long ago. But to be where we’re at right now, I think is really a credit to him, quite frankly.”


  • The Vikings are not expected to extend RB Alexander Mattison before the season, which would make him an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Mattison is expected to test the open market and see if he can land a starting job elsewhere. (Chris Tomasson)

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