NFC North Notes: Long, Megatron, Greenway

Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long changed positions in 2015 after making the Pro Bowl as a right guard during his first two NFL seasons, moving over to right tackle under new head coach John Fox. Having earned another Pro Bowl nod this year, Long has now demonstrated an ability to play multiple positions up front.

While he was valuable to the Bears as a guard, Long, a former first-round pick, increased his earning potential by shifting to the outside, particularly now that Lane Johnson has set a new standard for right tackles with his huge new contract extension.

In Johnson’s case, the Eagles assume it’s only a matter of time before he moves over to left tackle, and it’s not clear if that will be the case for Long and the Bears, but either way, a payday is on the way for the former 20th overall pick, writes John Mullin of We’ll have to wait and see if Chicago plans on tackling a Long extension this offseason when the team still holds a fifth-year option on him for 2017, but when he eventually signs a new contract, there’s a real chance he could surpass every right tackle except Johnson in terms of per-year salary.

Here’s more from around the NFC North:

  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap looks at the cap implications of Calvin Johnson‘s potential retirement, explaining how placing the star wideout on the reserve/retired list would affect the Lions in 2016 and in future seasons. Fitzgerald also briefly explores the idea of Johnson using the threat of retirement as leverage to get a clean break from Detroit without having to request a trade.
  • Michael Rothstein of suggests some potential uses for the cap room the Lions would save if Johnson retires, while¬†Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press identifies some logical targets at wide receiver for the team.
  • After the Vikings‘ heart-breaking Wild Card loss last month, veteran linebacker Chad Greenway said that he wants to continue his career, adding that he “can’t let it end like this.” Greenway isn’t under contract for next season, but wants to re-sign with the Vikings, so Ben Goessling of examines what a deal might look like, concluding that a one-year contract worth between $2-3MM would make some sense.
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5 comments on “NFC North Notes: Long, Megatron, Greenway

  1. Rory Parks

    Calvin Johnson has never struck me as the type of player who would be using the threat of retirement as leverage, and given that rumblings of his potential retirement have been going on for some time, I don’t think that’s what’s happening here. It seems as though he is genuinely through with his playing career, which may be more of a disappointment for NFL fans than for him personally.

  2. cjh815

    When it come to Calvin Johnson . My belief is if Johnson got traded to a team that would give real chance to win a super bowl he would reconsider retirement . He doesn’t want to play for lions any more . I give one team that he could go to play for . That Cowboys . Think he would have another super star receiver to play with like dez Bryant . A future hall of fame Qb like tony romo and a hall of fame Te in Jason Witten and the best offline in all of football . I know they would have re work his contract . I put out a three team trade between lions, Cowboys and brown that would help every team in this trade . Look for it . But we see Jerry jones please go for it contact lions and Johnson’s agent make this trade hacking Bryant ,Johnson , Gordon and Witten to throw to . Now hat beat for business

    • James7430

      You lost me at Tony Romo’s HOF reference.

  3. Karmada

    I’m not sure Lane Johnson’s deal should be the bar for RT, since he is destined to move to LT. Correct?

    • Luke Adams

      In theory, yeah. But if you’re an agent who represents a right tackle, that deal certainly allows you to say, “Well, my client hasn’t gotten a chance to play left tackle either, but he’s just as capable of moving there and should get paid like it.” To what extent a team buys that argument is another story.

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