Training camp is well under way for all four NFC North teams. Let’s take a look at some news and notes in the 2016 Training Camp addition of scooped.
Mike Zimmer was rewarded a contract extension by the Vikings right before training camp. Zimmer was signed through the 2017 season as head coach but the Vikings were pleased with their 2015 improvement. Zimmer led the Vikings to an 11-5 record and the NFC North title with very strong defense.
He has the same number of wins as Jim Caldwell in two seasons (18 with a playoff loss). Yet the perception is always better after an 11 win season compared to 11 wins two years ago. We’ll see what 2016 brings for both coaches.
Mike Harris is on the Non-Football injury list with a mysterious head injury. Harris was the Vikings starting right guard and played well last year. However, Harris may have been a backup with the addition of Alex Boone and flipping of Brandon Fusco back to right guard. It is an injury to keep an eye on for Vikings fans.
Teddy Bridgewater has been developing well and improving his deep ball. The defense has continued to look strong and should be a top 5 unit again.
Green Bay Packers
No extensions for the Packers but former Packer James Jones signed with the Chargers. There will be no last minute Jones addition to save the offense for 6 games.
Jordy Nelson is still on PUP due to an injury with his other knee. Oftentimes, you can hurt your other knee when recovering from a knee injury (see Broyles, Ryan). TJ Lang started on PUP but has been removed from the list. Corey Linsley, Ty Montgomery (ankle), Sam Barrington (foot) and Jared Cook (foot) have also been on PUP. Brett Hundley hurt his ankle which is bad timing before the pre-season starts. The Packers need to see what they have in their new backup. The Packers training staff is hard at work.
Just talk to any Packers fan ever (other than the day after they are eliminated from playoffs).
Darius Slay received a 4 year 48.5 million extension from the Lions with a 14.5 million signing bonus. Slay had one year left on his rookie deal and now has four more through the 2020 season. Slay gets a little over 12 million in new money average which is 7th highest for CBs in the league. Slay’s cap hits are 4.6 million in 2016, 10.7 million in 2017, 5.5 million in 2018, 15.4 million in 2019 and 13.4 million in 2020. It’s a great deal for both sides and the Lions locked up a good corner for the long term.
The Lions now have turned their attention to RB Theo Riddick and punter Sam Martin for extensions.
DeAndre Levy once again has a mysterious injury. He had surgery on his hip last year and missed 15 games. Levy is on the non-football injury list and it is very concerning he is missing more time. Levy participated fully in OTAs and this time missed is a surprise. Jon Bostic has replaced Levy as the weak side linebacker despite Josh Bynes playing well there last year.
Theo Riddick has missed two practices with an ankle injury but returned on Wednesday. Brandon Pettigrew is on the PUP list recovering from his torn ACL in December. This paves the way for Cole Wick or Matthew Mulligan to make the roster. Corey Fuller is also on PUP which hurts his chances to make the roster in a crowded WR group.
Just read any of my posts.
Willie Young received a two year extension. Young was playing out the last year of his 3 year 9 million dollar deal with the Bears signed in 2014. Young will be a Bear through the 2018 season. Terms of the extension haven’t been made public yet.
Zach Miller (head) and Marques Wilson have been dealing with injuries. Pernell McPhee has been on the PUP list which is something to keep an eye on. McPhee is the Bears best pass rusher. Kyle Long was in a walking boot (calf) and has missed some practices but returned on Wednesday. Eddie Royal has a concussion and Leonard Floyd has been limited with a shoulder injury.
The Bears are happy about the return of Kevin White. White missed his whole rookie year after the Bears selected him 7th overall. White will be big part of the Bears plans. Tight end Zach Miller and Marques Wilson have been injured in training camp and the Bears will expect a lot out of White as a weapon.
Danny Trevathan has looked great and the Bears hope they get much better defensive play in year 2 under Vic Fangio.
There will be a lot of news of notes in the upcoming weeks as we creep closer to football. Sunday Night at 8 pm on ESPN will be the first pre-season game for the North as the Packers take on the Colts in the Hall of Fame Game.