NFC Notes: Umenyiora, Sproles, Smith, Rudolph, Dietrich-Smith

A handful of Saturday morning notes from around the NFC leading up to the opening of free agency:

      • If Osi Umenyiora declines to accept a pay cut in Atlanta, a Giants reunion would be a possibility, writes Conor Orr of the New Jersey Star Ledger.
      • Darren Sproles would be an “outstanding fit for the Bears,” writes Dan Pompei, who says the former Saint could replace Devin Hester and be a dynamic change-of-pace back the team has been unable to field behind Matt Forte. Additionally, Pompei notes the connection between Sproles and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer, who was with Sproles in New Orleans.
      • “Financially, it makes little sense” for the Panthers to release Steve Smith because the team would take a financial hit in each of the next two seasons, says’s David Newton. The writer thinks the decision isn’t so much about money as it is the effect in the locker room. If the veteran’s role is reduced, would he turn sour?
      • The Vikings have $41MM worth of cap space to play with, and’s Ben Goessling thinks a chunk of it will go to Kyle Rudolph, who is scheduled to hit free agency next year but has said he wants to remain in Minnesota long-term. It could behoove the team to act now, as Rudolph could see his production (read: value) increase under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
      • The Packers have expressed their desire to bring back center Evan Dietrich-Smith, says the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein, who compares Dietrich-Smith’s free agent situation to Scott Wells‘ in 2012. Back then, the team thought they could let Wells negotiate with other teams and still retain his services, but they miscalculated and lost him to the Rams. The Packers are taking the same approach with Dietrich-Smith, who, coincidentally, has the same agent as Wells.
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