North Rumors: Packers, Pitta, Browns

Packers president Mark Murphy wasn’t thrilled to see his a handful of his players at the center of off-field incidents this offseason, with Datone Jones having been suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, while Letroy Guion and Andrew Quarless were each arrested and could be suspended as well. However, the team still doesn’t have any plans to release any of those players to send a message, as Murphy tells Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“While we’re disappointed in all the situations, we have to let the process play out and see exactly what happens in each situation,” Murphy said.

As we wait to see how Quarless’ legal situation plays out, and whether or not Guion receives discipline from the NFL, here are a few more items from around the league’s two North divisions:

  • Although Dennis Pitta has made “significant progress” in his recovery from a fractured and dislocated right hip, his NFL future is still up in the air. According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, the Ravens tight end will likely begin the 2015 regular season on the physically unable to perform list, which would sideline him for at least the first six weeks. Pitta, who will earn a guaranteed $4MM base salary this year whether or not he plays, has yet to be medically cleared to practice.
  • In his latest piece for, Tony Grossi highlights the departure of former Browns director of player engagement Jamil Northcutt, suggesting that the so-called mutual parting reflects a “seeping rift” between head coach Mike Pettine and GM Ray Farmer. Sources have told Grossi that Northcutt was a recipient of Farmer’s illegal in-game texts that earned the GM a four-game suspension, though another source says that’s not accurate.
  • The Vikings don’t have interest in free agent guard Evan Mathis, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, who tweets that the team wants to see what it has in its young players. Minnesota could consider revisiting Mathis later if the club’s guard play is an issue.
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge Janie Mayeron has ordered the NFL and the Players Association into settlement negotiations in their battle over Vikings running back Adrian Peterson‘s suspension, writes Dave Campbell of The Associated Press. The legal fight stems from the NFLPA claiming that the league “deliberately ignored” Judge David Doty’s ruling when Doty sided with the union in rejecting arbitrator Harold Henderson’s decision to uphold Peterson’s suspension.
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