NFC North Links: Lions, Ponder, Packers

Roster construction is a collaborative effort in Detroit, but head coach Jim Caldwell acknowledges that general manager Martin Mayhew will have the final say on the 53 players the Lions carry into the regular season, as he tells Justin Rogers of If Caldwell were making the final decisions, he’d like favor production over potential, for one obvious reason.

“I’m in the business of winning games and winning games now,” Caldwell said. “So the most important thing to me is getting guys who can be in a position to help us win right now. There are other, businesses (and) positions within the organization that may look at it differently, but we have to look at it as coaches. We’re looking for the best guy to help us win, at this particular moment in time, and that’s what counts for us.”

Here’s more from around the NFC North:

  • Although Christian Ponder has made comments indicating he’d be open to a trade, he clarified today that he’s not asking to be dealt by the Vikings. “As a competitor you want to be the guy out there playing,” Ponder said. “But I do feel like in the situation I’m in right now, I am getting better” (Twitter links via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press).
  • Colt Lyerla was waived-injured by the Packers yesterday after tearing his MCL and PCL, but agent Vinnie Porter gets the sense that the team still has his client in its plans, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Assuming Lyerla clears waivers, he could spent the year on injured reserve and continue on with Green Bay next season.
  • In a separate piece for the Journal Sentinel, Dunne explores whether or not there’s still room on the Packers for former first-round pick Nick Perry. The linebacker’s roster spot probably isn’t in jeopardy, but 2014 could be a make-or-break season for him.
  • By signing Julius Peppers and having him make the transition from a 4-3 defensive end to a 3-4 outside linebacker, the Packers are hoping the ex-Bear has a career renaissance similar to the one experienced by Charles Woodson when Woodson joined the Packers and began to play positions besides just cornerback. Andy Benoit of has the story.
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