NFC North Blog
The Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs reported Monday that the Bears cut running back Michael Bush two seasons into his four-year, $14 million deal. Bush worked mostly as the team's goal-line back when Matt Forte was healthy. In 2012 and 2013 combined, Bush ran for 608 yards and averaged 3.4 yards per carry. He started just one game.
Devin Hester won't be returning to the Chicago Bears after a memorable eight-year run. He knows that he must now market himself to other teams, and his strategy is an extremely confident one.
During an interview with NBC 5 in West Palm Beach, Fla., Hester was asked who he thinks is the NFL best all-around player right now. His answer?
"Me. ... I can go and play corner, I can go and play receiver, I can play running back, and I can play a little bit of safety, as well as kickoff and punt returner."
Hester also said his preferred team is the one that wants him and fits him the most.
The Lions and running back Joique Bell have been working on a contract extension for a while now, but coming into today, they hadn't agreed on anything yet. So, to make sure the restricted free agent didn't slip through their fingers when free agency officially begins this afternoon, the Lions put a second-round tender on Bell. That tender put Bell under contract for 2014, allowed the two sides to keep working toward a long-term deal and guaranteed that the Lions would receive a second-round pick if another team came along with an offer Bell couldn't refuse.
But we didn't have to wait long for that new deal to arrive. Just a few hours in fact. The Lions have given Bell a three-year extension worth $9.3 million, including $4.3 million guaranteed according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Bell had a breakout season in 2013 as he gained almost 1,200 yards from scrimmage, caught 53 passes and scored eight touchdowns despite playing second fiddle to Reggie Bush for most of the year.
Ian Rapoport @Rapsheet tweeted today that he hears the Lions are showing interest in free agent wide receiver Golden Tate. The Seahawks may still retain Tate, but it seems the market it heating up for the Super Bowl Champion.
The likelihood of the VIkings granting star running back Adrian Peterson's wish and signing quarterback Michael Vick just lessened, as Minnesota re-signed QB Matt Cassel late Friday. The deal is for two years and is worth a reported $10 million. With that move, it's unlikely the Vikings would bring in a third QB to compete for their starting job.
Rumors are circulating that when Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders hits free agency on Tuesday afternoon, he may already have a suitor. And, if those rumors are true, Detroit WR Calvin Johnson could have a sidekick... Yeah, the Starscream label has already been assigned.
Apparently, the Vikings franchise player has made it known who he'd like to have handing him the ball in 2014. Running back Adrian Peterson tweeted on Thursday that he thinks QB Michael Vick could be the key to Minnesota getting back to the playoffs. Vick started six games for Philadelphia in 2013, injured his hamstring, then stood on the sideline the rest of the year, holding a clipboard, while Nick Foles put up impressive numbers in his 10 starts and led the Eagles to the playoffs.
This day of mediocre fantasy commodities getting cut continues with the report from FOX Sports' Mike Garafolo that the Vikings will release tight end John Carlson soon. Garafolo has been told by a source that Carlson and the Vikings were open to a contract restructuring but couldn't come to an agreement.
Carlson, 29, signed a five-year, $25 million deal two seasons ago. In that time, he caught 40 passes for a total of 387 yards.
He joined Le'Ron McClain and Jason Avant as men without a team today.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeted Tuesday that the Bears have made "no attempt" to re-sign soon-to-be free agent Devin Hester and added that this marks the "end of an era" for one of the NFL's best kick returners of all time.
Rapoport also said he doesn't see a reunion between Hester and new Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith happening. Smith coached the Bears from 2004-12.