NFC Notes: Lions, Lynch, Saints, Cowboys

As Lions OTAs continue, the shadow of Calvin Johnson looms large. How long did it take quarterback Matthew Stafford to get used to life without Megatron?

Apparently, a lot quicker than you guys,” he said to reporters (link via The Associated Press).

The Lions signed Marvin Jones in free agency and he’ll likely be their No. 2 option at wide receiver behind Golden Tate. They Lions also picked up Jeremy Kerley in the offseason to add some depth to the position and possibly take the role of punt returner off Tate’s plate. The Lions still have plenty of passing options – including tight ends Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew – but it remains to be seen whether they can collectively fill the void left by Johnson’s retirement.

More from the NFC:

  • There was a report Wednesday offering conflicting viewpoints from those close to Marshawn Lynch on whether the four-time Pro Bowl running back will actually finalize his retirement. Now Seahawks receiver and longtime Lynch teammate Doug Baldwin has become the latest to weigh in, telling SiriusXM NFL Radio, “I’m most certain that he’s not coming back” (Twitter link).
  • Former Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan claims that he he did not have a full say in how their defense was run, but coach Sean Payton dismissed that notion in an interview on Thursday night. “We tried to implement some schemes we thought would help our defense,” Payton said (link via The Times-Picayune). “But the idea that it wasn’t his defense, or that he wasn’t, you know, in charge of it, is silly.”
  • The Cowboys have gotten inquiries from teams interested in their running backs, but they don’t plan on dealing any of them, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones.“We got calls during the draft asking to trade for some of our running backs. We just don’t have that interest,” he said Thursday (link via Katie Halropoulos of the Dallas Morning News). In addition to fourth overall pick Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys have Darren MacFadden – who ran for 1,000-plus yards last year – as well as three-time 1,000-yard rusher Alfred Morris and Lance Dunbar as credible options out of the backfield.

Connor Byrne contributed to this post.

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