The Vikings‘ draft strategy means that there will be more big contracts following Harrison Smith‘s payday, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com writes. Between now and March 2017, the Vikings will have to determine whether they want to stay in business with left tackle Matt Kalil. Beyond him, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd will play out their fifth-year options in 2017. In 2018, the Vikings will have to make decisions on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and linebacker Anthony Barr. This could make for some tough calls but, then again, it’s a good problem to have when your draft picks work out well.
Here’s more from the NFC North:
- On Monday, Lions GM Bob Quinn declined to provide reporters with an update on Stephen Tulloch‘s status with the team (link via ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein). The veteran was told in February he wouldn’t be part of the team, but as of this writing he is still on the roster.
- Packers coach Mike McCarthy says he has “no long-term concern” with Jared Cook‘s situation, Michael Cohen of the Journal Sentinel writes. Cook had foot surgery earlier this week and will be sidelined at least until training camp, but it sounds like he’ll be back on the field before long.
- After using first-round picks on offensive linemen Taylor Decker and Laken Tomlinson, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com is optimistic about the Lions‘ run game in 2016. The Lions also added Stevan Ridley in free agent to help round out the running game. Of course, a lot will hinge on second-year player Ameer Abdullah returning healthy.
- The Lions seemingly drafted long snapper Don Muhlbach‘s replacement this year, but he’s not going to cede his job without a fight, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. “I’m like, ‘I didn’t get fired,’” Muhlbach said when asked about sixth-round pick Jimmy Landes. “I’m still there. I’m not going to leave just now….I still think I’m OK. I want to play some more. My body feels fine, so I’d like to keep going.”
- The Bears inked third-round defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard earlier today, meaning that every player in their 2016 class is now under contract.