North Notes: Jennings, Bears, Browns

Some Saturday evening notes from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Wide receiver Greg Jennings, whom the Vikings released last week after two seasons in Minnesota, thrived during the first seven years of his career as a member of the Packers. Nevertheless, according to Jason Wilde of ESPN, don’t expect the 31-year-old to return to Green Bay. Although the Packers – who already have high-paid wideouts Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb – previously expressed interest this offseason in veteran free agents Andre Johnson and Percy Harvin, both of whom have since signed elsewhere, Wilde doesn’t see Jennings as a fit for the team because of the ugly way he left in 2013. Jennings took shots at the Packers after signing with the Vikings, as ESPN’s Rob Demovsky detailed earlier this week, and Wilde doesn’t expect Packers management to forgive and forget in Jennings’ case. That’s despite Jennings saying Tuesday that he’d be “open” to a reunion with Green Bay.
  • The Bears have a number of needs to address entering the upcoming NFL draft, with wide receiver and pass rusher chief among them. Luckily for general manager Ryan Pace, those areas happen to be two of the strongest and deepest in the draft class, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. The Bears could target a wideout or pass rusher with the seventh overall pick, where receivers Amari Cooper (Alabama) and Kevin White (West Virginia) and defenders Randy Gregory (Nebraska), Dante Fowler (Florida) and Shane Ray (Missouri) are likely to be available. If not, they still might be able to find second- and third-round receivers and pass rushers capable of coming in and making an immediate impact.
  • As of now, the Browns’ starting quarterback in 2015 is probably either going to be Josh McCown or Johnny Manziel. Understandably, their fans aren’t content with either option, and Mary Kay Cabot of answered some of their QB-related inquiries in a mailbag. According to Cabot, the Browns could land Baylor’s Bryce Petty with the 19th overall pick in the draft. Their new quarterbacks coach, Kevin O’Connell, has trained Petty in the past – which means O’Connell has plenty of info on Petty and might be in position to steer Browns management either toward the 23-year-old or away from him.
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