Green Bay Packers

NFC North Notes: Cobb, Packers, Bears

The latest from the NFC North..

  • The Packers are expected to keep the duo of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb together, writes Rob Demovsky of Still, with $14.25MM already committed to Nelson this season, GM Ted Thompson has to figure out how to keep Cobb in the fold as well. Cobb is in the final season of his rookie extension and Green Bay has other needs to take care of with their projected $8.8MM in cap space. The feeling around the league is that there’s no way the Packers would let him hit free agency next March. “It will get done,” said an NFL personnel executive. “He’s a Ted guy.”
  • Lovie Smith is preaching a different defense with the Buccaneers, and the Bears have taken notice, writes’s John Mullin. “They’ve played a lot of man-to-man coverage, more than you’d think,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “You look at where they’ve been defensively, and they’re moving man-to-man coverage significantly.
  • More from Mullin, who wonders if the newly-signed Marc Mariani is the key to the Bears turning their return game around. Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis spoke highly of Mariani’s “returner mechanics” and attributed that to the tutelage of former coach Jeff Fisher. Mariani went to the 2010 Pro Bowl as a member of the Titans.

North Notes: Peterson, Cobb, Hoyer has published the full five-page letter sent by the NFL Players Association to commissioner Roger Goodell explaining the reasoning behind appealing Adrian Peterson‘s suspension, and the document makes for an interesting read.

In addition to the previously-reported points raised by the NFLPA, the union also points out that Peterson’s violation of the personal conduct policy happened back in May, well before the league instituted its new policies related to domestic violence. NFLPA attorney Tom DePaso also points out that the Vikings running back’s suspension, which totals 15 games when taking into account his time on the exempt list, is without precedent for such an incident, and “grossly disproportionate” when compared to past penalties.

Here’s more on that letter to Goodell, as well as a couple more notes from around the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • The union’s letter to the commissioner suggests that multiple league officials – including Troy Vincent – told Peterson and his agent that his stint on the exempt list would be considered time served, and takes issue with the league’s lack of transparency in failing to explain the role of outside experts during the disciplinary hearing that was scheduled for Peterson last week. The appeal also calls, in strong terms, for a neutral arbitrator during the appeal process. “There is simply no way for you to impartially arbitrate Mr. Peterson’ s appeal,” DePaso writes, addressing Goodell.
  • 2015’s free agent class of wide receivers projects to include several intriguing names, but none will have Randall Cobb‘s combination of youth (he turned 24 in August) and on-field production (779 receiving yards, 10 TDs so far this season). While Cobb says he wants to remain “a Packer for life,” he’ll be a hot commodity if he reaches the open market, writes Don Banks of
  • Greg A. Bedard of tackles the issue of what Brian Hoyer‘s next contract will look like, writing that there’s a significant range of possibilities for the Browns quarterback depending on how he finishes the 2014 season.

Practice Squad Updates: Wednesday

We’ll round up today’s practice squad signings and cuts in this space, with the latest moves added to the top of the list throughout the day….

  • The Packers have filled the lone opening on their practice squad by signing guard Rishaw Johnson, the team announced today. Johnson previously spent time this season on the Buccaneers’ active roster and the Cowboys’ practice squad.

Earlier updates:

  • The Steelers, who cut LeGarrette Blount and promoted running back Josh Harris to their roster yesterday, have added another back to the practice squad to replace Harris. LaDarius Perkins, an undrafted rookie out of Mississippi State who spent the summer with the Packers, is the newest member of the taxi squad, per Burt Lauten (via Twitter).
  • Defensive end George Uko, who spent three weeks on the Buccaneers‘ practice squad earlier this year, has been re-signed to the unit, the team announced today in a press release. Tampa Bay cut punter Jacob Schum to make room for Uko.
  • After cutting him earlier this week to accommodate the activation of guard Geoff Schwartz, the Giants have re-signed linebacker Justin Anderson to their practice squad, tweets Dan Graziano of

North Notes: Steelers, Tate, Peterson

Aditi Kinkhabwala of reported earlier today (via Twitter) that someone on the Steelers staff called someone with the Browns to ask about Ben Tate‘s release, but Scott Brown of (Twitter link) hears that Pittsburgh has no interest in picking up Tate to replace LeGarrette Blount. More out of the North divisions..

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Minor Moves: Saturday

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

  • Running back Cierre Wood, who signed with the Seahawks‘ practice squad earlier this week, was let go by the team today, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (via Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • With tight end Brandon Bostick ruled out for tomorrow’s game against the Eagles, the Packers have promoted Justin Perillo from their practice squad to the active roster, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter). To make room for the incoming tight end, the club has released offensive lineman Jamon Meredith.
  • The Dolphins have placed cornerback Will Davis on injured reserve after he tore his ACL during Sunday’s game, the team announced on Twitter. Davis, a 2013 third-round pick, had been playing on slightly more than 20% of Miami’s defensive snaps. To fill his roster spot, the club has signed CB Jalil Brown, who spent training camp with the Dolphins.

Free Agency Notes: Suh, Bryant, Pierre-Paul

Many NFL teams are focused on making the playoffs during the home stretch of the season, but many of their top players are also worried about their impending free agency. Field Yates of put together a list of five players who are set to receive huge contracts this offseason (subscription required).

The headliner of that list is Lions‘ defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who may be leaving Detroit this offseason for a contract in the range of what J.J. Watt received this past offseason. Dez Bryant, Justin Houston, Demaryius Thomas, and Randall Cobb also made the list of players set up to be paid after the season.

Here are some other notes on player movement this offseason:

  • Along with the list of players who are ready to get big contracts, Yates also listed five players who have seen their stocks soar since the beginning of the season. Much like the five top free agents, the five soaring stocks all come from potential playoff teams. Yates points to DeMarco Murray, Jeremy Maclin, Brian Hoyer, Mark Ingram, and Chris Harris Jr..
  • Bryant appears on Yates’ list of players set up for big contracts, but Todd Archer of expects the superstar wide receiver to remain with the Cowboys for at least two more seasons (via Twitter). Archer writes that the Cowboys always keep a player they want, and won’t lose Bryant if they want to keep him (via Twitter).
  • One big name player who doesn’t appear on Yates’ list is Giants‘ defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Pierre-Paul has been inconsistent since his breakout 2011 season when he recorded 16.5 sacks. The embattled Giant is ambivalent about returning to the team next year, according to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post (via Twitter). “Hey, if I’m here, I’m here,” said Pierre-Paul. “If I’m not, I’m not.”

Workout Notes: Tuesday

We’ll keep track of today’s workouts and visits here..

  • The Colts worked out notable kick returner Josh Cribbs, according to’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Cribbs is the NFL’s all-time co-leader in kickoff returns for touchdowns with eight.
  • The Titans worked out former Packers first round pick Derek Sherrod, Yates tweets. The offensive tackle was cut by the Packers late last month.
  • The Panthers also auditioned Sherrod and Kevin Greene, Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post tweets.
  • Defensive tackle Fred Evans tried out for the Seahawks, according to Howard Balzer of USA Today (on Twitter).
  • The Saints tried out safeties M.D. Jennings and Kenny Phillips, according to Balzer (on Twitter). Jamarca Sanford was signed earlier today, so Jennings and Phillips probably won’t be coming to New Orleans.
  • The Saints also auditioned running backs Andre Brown, Tim Hightower, Mikel LeShoure, and Rutgers alum Brian Leonard, according to Yates (via Mike Triplett on Twitter).
  • The Packers looked at defensive tackle Kenny Horsley, safety Kimario McFadden, and linebacker Chaz Sutton, Rob Demovsky of tweets.
  • The Falcons are working out former Utah State center Tyler Larsen today, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter).
  • The Dolphins worked out Jonte Green, Wilson tweets.
  • The Seahawks worked out running backs Johri Fogerson, Stanley Havili, and Karl Williams, Wilson tweets.
  • The Titans worked out tight end Dorin Dickerson today, Wilson tweets. The Titans removed him from the IR with an injury settlement in August.

Practice Squad Updates: Tuesday

In addition to tweaking their 53-man rosters in preparation for Week 11’s games, teams around the NFL are also making changes to their practice squads. Here are Tuesday’s practice squad signings and cuts:

  • The Browns signed defensive lineman Jamie Meder to their taxi squad, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal (on Twitter). Meder, an Ohio native, was recently cut from the Ravens’ practice squad.
  • Brian McIntyre (on Twitter) has the goods on the Seahawks‘ latest taxi squad moves. Seattle has signed defensive end Ryan Robinson and running back Cierre Wood while placing running back Demitrius Bronson and defensive tackle Julius Warmsley on the IR. Linebacker L.J. Fort, who was being looked at as a possible fullback option, has been released.
  • The Giants released safety Kyle Sebetic from the practice squad, tweets Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger.
  • The Packers have re-signed wideout Alex Gillett to their taxi squad, releasing Jordan McCray in a corresponding move, a source tells Rob Demovsky of (Twitter link).
  • Confirming a Monday report, Tim Twentyman of tweets that center Darren Keyton has formally been added to the Lions‘ practice squad, replacing linebacker Jerrell Harris.

Earlier updates:

  • After placing linebacker Patrick Willis on injured reserve today, the 49ers signed another linebacker, Shayne Skov, to their practice squad, the team announced (via Twitter). Skov, who spent the summer with the Niners, was cut from the Buccaneers’ taxi squad last month.
  • Looking to add depth at the tight end position, the Chiefs not only added Phillip Supernaw to their active roster today, but also signed tight end Adam Schiltz to their practice squad, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Schiltz takes the spot vacated by running back Charcandrick West, who was promoted to the 53-man roster today.
  • The Browns have released defensive lineman Jacobbi McDaniel from their practice squad, leaving an opening on the unit, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link).
  • Linebacker Denicos Allen has been cut from the Buccaneers‘ practice squad, per Scott Smith of (Twitter link).
  • Amidst a flurry of other roster moves, the Jaguars released cornerback Lou Young from their practice squad today, according to Wilson (via Twitter).

Minor Moves: Saturday

Here are Saturday’s minor moves that affect teams’ 53-man rosters around the league:

  • The Packers have signed offensive tackle Jamon Meredith, reports Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (via Twitter). The team placed wide receiver Kevin Dorsey on the IR to make room on the roster. Meredith was the Packers’ 2009 fifth-round draft choice, and spent time with the Bills, Colts, Lions, and Buccaneers before returning, according to Jason Wilde of ESPN (via Twitter).
  • The 49ers have promoted linebacker Chase Thomas to their active roster, reports Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Thomas will slide into the roster spot left open when the team released Demarcus Dobbs earlier this week.
  • The Bears have placed guard Matt Slauson on the IR, replacing him on the roster with tight end Blake Annen, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). Annen was promoted from the practice squad.

NFC Links: Avant, Palmer, Brooks

Panthers wide receiver Jason Avant is looking forward to returning to Philadelphia this weekend, but the veteran is also looking back on his time with the Eagles. The 30-year-old was asked about his departure from Philly, and the wideout understood that he was on the outside looking in. Via the Philly Mag’s Tim McManus

“You have an emerging [Jeremy] Maclin, you have a receiver draft that is high on talent that year and then you just paid Riley Cooper, so you kind of put the pieces together. Me and DeSean or me and Mac, we knew two of us would be gone,” he said. “We didn’t know which one it would be but you kind of [understand] situations over the years.

“I saw my role and what they had me doing and it just didn’t make sense for them financially to keep me to do some of the things I was doing. That’s no slight at Chip [Kelly] or anyone, it’s just a good business decision. Man, if I was in the business decision I would have looked at it and said: Look, to catch bubbles and to block, we can get a rookie to do that for a lesser price. That’s just a smart move by Howie Roseman and Chip.”

“Every player wants to play in one city for their whole career, but I understood the business side of it,” he said. “I love the organization, I love [Kelly and Roseman], I don’t have any hard feelings. I’ll be giving [Kelly] a big hug when I see him. I respect him and I respect what he is doing. They’re having a great season so far and I am really, really excited for a lot of the guys there, and I still talk to a lot of people. I’m happy they’re doing well — I just hope they don’t do well this week. That’s it.”

Let’s check out some more notes from the NFC…

  • The Packers will evaluate the availability of guards Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang today, and they could decide to activate lineman Josh Walker from the practice squad, writes Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel.
  • The Cardinals made the correct move in signing Carson Palmer, says’s Josh Weinfuss. The 34-year-old’s performance since returning in mid-October has proven to the writer that the veteran was deserving of a three-year extension.
  • 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh would not comment on rumors that the team was shopping linebacker Ahmad Brooks“No, no, I don’t have any comment on that,” Harbaugh said (via’s Paul Gutierrez). “As always, no comment on those things. It would be second-hand, and I don’t have the specific knowledge.”