NFC North Notes: Finley, Neal, Packers, Lions

In a piece on the best remaining free agents, former Packers tight end Jermichael Finley tops the 10 players named by Alex Marvez of Fox Sports. Of course, as agent Blake Baratz tells Marvez, it’s not 100% certain that Finley will even return from his spinal injury and play in the NFL again. While we do expect the tight end to sign somewhere, he could file for the collection of a $10MM insurance policy if he opts not continue his playing career.

As we wait to see if the Packers express interest in bringing Finley back into the fold, here’s more from around the NFC North:

  • Linebacker Mike Neal re-signed with the Packers early in free agency, but Green Bay wasn’t the only team interested in him. Neal tells Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune that the Bears made him an offer, though he opted not sign with the Packers’ division rival. “In the long run, their offer, it wasn’t a bad deal,” Neal said of Chicago’s proposal. “The option for me to come back [to Green Bay] was better, in my opinion. I felt like this was a system that if I was kept in the same position, I could flourish in.” The Steelers also reportedly expressed interest in Neal before he re-upped with the Packers.
  • Although there are questions about how long Ted Thompson will continue on in his role as Green Bay’s general manager, Rob Demovsky of says Packers fans should hope that Thompson still has plenty of years left on the job. One person close to Thompson recently told Demovsky that he doesn’t think the GM will leave anytime soon unless the Packers win another Super Bowl, and that speculation about his retirement “got him going.”
  • The Lions have promoted Rob Lohman to assistant director of pro personnel and expanded their scouting department, as Tim Twentyman details at
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