North Notes: Bears, Jimmy Smith, Packers

After submitting his choices for the 50 best trade assets in the NFL earlier this week, Grantland’s Bill Barnwell shifts gears and takes a look today at the worst contracts in the league. Leading the way on offense is Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, whose contract will be stuck on the club’s books for several more years. On the other side of the ball, Everson Griffen of the Vikings, Paul Kruger of the Browns, and Troy Polamalu of the Steelers are a few of Barnwell’s picks for players with the least team-friendly deals.

Here’s more from out of the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • The Bears have twice tried to re-sign Kyle Orton since trading him away five years ago, and Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune wonders if the team could look his way once again if neither Jordan Palmer nor Jimmy Clausen steps up as the No. 2 QB behind Jay Cutler. It’s unclear at this point whether Orton intends to continue his playing career in 2014.
  • Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith doesn’t anticipate signing a contract extension anytime soon, according to Jamison Hensley of (via Twitter). That doesn’t mean Smith isn’t interested in a long-term stay in Baltimore, but he likely recognizes his leverage is limited with two years still left on his deal.
  • Speaking to reporters today, including Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link), Packers coach Mike McCarthy continued to leave the door open to the possibility of Jermichael Finley rejoining the team, adding that the tight end is “still a Packer” in his opinion.
  • With both the team and the league enjoying “unparalleled financial prosperity” and the salary cap continuing to rise, the Packers will have plenty of money to invest both on and off the field going forward, team president Mark Murphy said yesterday (link via Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).
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