NFC North Notes: Packers, Vikings, Bears

When evaluating potential free agents, teams certainly look at a players’ ability to stay on the field for as many games as possible. David Chao of the National Football Post ranked his top-ten injury risks among this year’s free agents and he featured two Packers on that list. Defensive lineman Johnny Jolly was seventh, with Chao pointing out that the 31-year-old will still need another month or two to recover from offseason surgery. Tight end Jermichael Finley was number-eight following his neck injury in October, and the writer believes he’ll be medically cleared very soon. Cowboys’ defensive end Anthony Spencer finished atop the list.

Let’s take a look at some more rumblings from around the NFC North…

  • The Packers ended up paying cornerback Sam Shields, which seems to go along with what Packers’ General Manager Ted Thompson has done in the past, writes Tom Silverstein of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Based on Silverstein’s list of players the Packers have and have not extended, the team has typically made the correct choice in which players they’ve chosen to keep.
  • The number of signings, particularly in the NFC North, has shrunk the Bears‘ market, says John Mullin of He points to Shields as a player the team could have used.
  • After the Vikings signed Everson Griffen earlier today, Ben Goessling of took a look at what was next for the team. He estimated that the Vikings would have about $25MM left in cap room, which would be enough to sign Michael Johnson and Alterraun Verner (the Vikings have expressed interest in both) but wouldn’t leave the team with enough room to extend Kyle Rudolph or sign other free agents.
  • Former Viking Jared Allen will likely take his team choosing a new team and probably won’t have a decision by Tuesday, tweets Ian Rapoport of
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