North Notes: Ratliff, Lions, Levy, Ravens

Veteran defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff is currently a free agent, free to sign with any NFL team, but as details continue to trickle out about last week’s incident at Halas Hall, it appears increasingly unlikely that another team will give him a shot this season.

Ratliff showed up last Wednesday in no condition to practice, prompting the Bears to send him home. After the team made the decision to cut him, Ratliff returned to the club’s practice facility, saying at one point that “he felt like killing everybody in the building,” according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, citing a report from Lake Forest Police.

Ratliff left Halas Hall and returned again later, at which time he reportedly said, “I am the devil” and that he “wished staff member’s children would die.” Although no charges were filed against Ratliff, the Bears did call local police, with team officials alerting police of their belief that the 34-year-old owns multiple firearms, according to Campbell.

As the Bears attempt to move on from last week’s incident, let’s check in on some other items from out of the NFL’s North divisions….

  • The idea that the Lions may consider parting with quarterback Matthew Stafford after this season is “comical,” GM Martin Mayhew told reporters today, including Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Mayhew also dismissed the possibility of a Calvin Johnson trade: “Both of those guys are very important to what we’re doing as a franchise, great people off the field, great teammates. And both of those guys have Hall of Fame potential. So to say that we should move those guys doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”
  • DeAndre Levy, recovering from hip surgery, may not see the field again this season after playing just 17 regular season snaps. However, Mayhew doesn’t regret locking up the Lions linebacker to a long-term extension prior to the season, as Birkett writes. “He’s not the first guy to sign an extension and get hurt. That happens sometimes,” Mayhew said. “You hate when it happens, but certainly through no fault of his own. It’s a serious injury that he’s dealing with.”
  • It was a busy day for Mayhew, who also said that he expects the Lions to be buyers, not sellers, at next week’s trade deadline.
  • The Ravens‘ front office and coaching staff have received no phone calls and just one text message from Terrell Suggs since the veteran pass rusher tore his Achilles a month and a half ago, writes Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun. GM Ozzie Newsome says he isn’t worried about the lack of communication with Suggs, who may be rehabbing on his own, adding that he expects the 33-year-old to return to the team next season.
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