NFL Notes: Bengals, Lions, Packers, Panthers



  • The Cincinnati Bengals announced Monday that they’ve hired Bob Bicknell as their new wide receivers coach.


  • Ian Rapoport reports that even with Teryl Austin departing for the Bengals’ defensive coordinator job and the prevailing assumption that they’ll hire Patriots DC Matt Patricia, the Lions are still saying that their search is “ongoing.”


On Monday, the Packers officially introduced new GM Brian Gutekunst and discussed their new front office set up.

  • Packers president Mark Murphy explained that the decision to split Ted Thompson‘s role into three separate roles was to improve communication throughout the organization and make the GMs role less broad: “The way the position was structured with Ted Thompson, it was three different titles. It’s very broad. It’s difficult for one person to handle all of those responsibilities. I decided it would be in the best long-term interest of the organization to split the position.” (Wes Hodkiewicz)
  • According to Murphy, Gutekunst, Mike McCarthy and Russ Ball will all meet with Murphy on a weekly basis moving forward. (Wes Hodkiewicz)
  • One thing Gutekunst made clear is that free agency is going to be utilized more moving forward: “Our foundation is going to be the draft, but (free agency) is an absolute must as an accessory piece. We’re not going to be able to sign every player (but) we want to be in the know of everything that’s going on. We have to be prepared to pull the trigger.” (Wes Hodkiewicz)
  • Packers executive Eliot Wolf has been a popular topic in recent days, given that he could depart Green Bay for a different job. Gutekunst says that he’s hoping to convince Wolf to remain with the Packers: “He was one of our candidates. He’s going to be a general manager someday. I have high respect for him. I really believe he has a great career ahead of him.” (Wes Hodkiewicz)
  • Regarding Wolf, Tom Silverstein reports that he has an offer for a prominent job on Gutekunst’s staff, but he’ll have to decide if he wants to come back before details are hammered out.
  • Texas A&M has hired Packers assistant DL coach Jerry Montgomery. (Houston Chronicle)


Panthers LB Thomas Davis admitted that he would likely have a reduced role next year if he’s back in Carolina.

“Being in my 13th year, I’m pretty sure coming back next year that it will be in a reduced role,” Davis said, via “Shaq [Thompson] has definitely earned the right, and when you look at [David] Mayo, he’s coming along. Obviously we still have Luke (Kuechly) here who is playing at an extremely high level. So we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes.”

  • On Monday, Panthers interim general manager Marty Hurney said he would like to become the permanent GM if that is an option: “I love what I’m doing.” (David Newton)
  • Impending free agent DT Star Lotulelei said he’s likely to stay in Carolina but realizes that may not be an option: “I honestly don’t know. I love this locker room. I’d like to stay. But I’m prepared for anything.” (Max Henson)
  • Lotulelei added he has had no discussions with the Panthers about his future and while he would like to return, he also feels like he deserves to be paid among the top nose tackles in the NFL. (Joe Person)
  • We have Lotulelei featured in our Top 100  – 2018 NFL Free Agents list.
  • Should the Panthers lose DC Steve Wilks, as many expect, HC Ron Rivera said there are qualified candidates on their defensive staff to replace him. Joe Person suggests Eric Washington as someone who could be at the top of their list.
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