NFC Notes: Forte, Lions, Lynch, Bonuses

With Matt Forte‘s contract set to expire, Bears tackle Kyle Long hopes to continue playing with his veteran teammate, but knows there’s a chance next week’s game could be their last together, as Jeff Dickerson of writes.

“I’d love to play with Matt forever, but it’s a business,” Long said. “I understand that. If he is around, I’ll be as psyched as anybody. And it will be one of the hardest things ever to see him in another jersey if that’s the case. But we have one more game with him, sure. We’re going to run the workhorse until the wheels fall off.”

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has turned around his 2015 season since Jim Bob Cooter took over as the team’s offensive coordinator, so it’s no surprise that Stafford would like to see Cooter keep the job in 2016, as Tim Twentyman of details.
  • Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch hasn’t progressed as quickly as expected in his recovery from a sports hernia ailment, but he was seen training on Christmas Day at a San Francisco facility. The 29-year-old is expected to be back in Seattle this week, with an eye on potentially returning to practice, Ian Rapoport of reports. A determination on Lynch’s ability to play in his fifth postseason with the Seahawks remains elusive, however.
  • In advance of the Seahawks‘ rematch with the Rams on Sunday, GM John Schneider said offensive rookie of the year contender Todd Gurley rated as the No. 1 player on Seattle’s draft board, the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta reports (on Twitter).
  • Joel Corry of (Twitter links) identifies a couple players with major money on the line in Week 17, noting that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson‘s 2016 roster bonus will be reduced by $1MM if he doesn’t rush for 132 yards against the Packers, while Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee will miss out on a $2MM salary increase if his playing time for the season dips below 80% (he’s currently at 82.1%).
  • One player who has cashed in on bonus money recently is Cardinals edge defender Dwight Freeney, who earned an extra $300K on Sunday after racking up three more sacks. Per Ed Werder of (Twitter links), Cardinals president Michael Bidwell says he hopes to write Freeney a year-end bonus check worth more than the $500K the veteran pass rusher has already earned.

Sam Robinson contributed to this post.

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