North Notes: Skrine, Lions, Hoyer, Guion

Yesterday, Tony Pauline of reported that he’s hearing the cornerback market could be very player-friendly this offseason, with multiple teams potentially looking to sign more than one free agent corner. Today, Pauline provides some predictions for specific players, tweeting that he’s hearing numbers in the $10MM-per-year range for Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell. I expressed skepticism last month when a report suggested that sources close to Maxwell had thrown out figures in the $12-13MM range, but even a $10MM annual salary would indicate a robust market.

Pauline adds (via Twitter) that he’s also heard a $6.5MM annual figure being “thrown around” for Browns cornerback Buster Skrine. Skrine received the worst Pro Football Focus grade of any of Cleveland’s top four CBs (subscription required), but also played the most defensive snaps of the group, and held his own as a starter when Justin Gilbert wasn’t quite ready to play across from Joe Haden.

As we wait to see whether Skrine actually does that well on his new deal, let’s check in on a few more updates from across the NFL’s North divisions….

  • In his preview of the Lions‘ offseason, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap suggests that the team would be best off letting Ndamukong Suh walk, since Detroit has very little spending flexibility with its current “Big Three” structure, and it’s hard to picture the team having long-term success with that approach. Fitzgerald views Nick Fairley as a more prudent investment at defensive tackle.
  • Based on his comments to reporters at the combine on Thursday, it appears that Browns GM Ray Farmer is continuing to give free agent quarterback Brian Hoyer the cold shoulder, writes Tony Grossi of While it may be a negotiating ploy, it doesn’t look like the Browns will be re-signing the veteran signal-caller.
  • The legal issues for Packers free agent defensive lineman Letroy Guion are expected to resolved very soon, perhaps within the next few days, tweets Adam Caplan of Getting closure on that situation prior to the free agent period would be a win for Guion and for teams with interest in him.
  • Bears GM Ryan Pace was fairly noncommittal when discussing potential contract extensions for players like Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery, but admitted “it’s a slow process,” according to Jeff Dickerson of
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