NFC North Notes: Lions, Golden, Loadholt

If the Lions want to keep their 2013 draft class, it’ll cost them a pretty penny, says Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. The Lions are slated to have $20MM in salary cap space right now and they could tack on another $11MM if Calvin Johnson retires. Still, the team has five starting-caliber players from the 2013 class that are slated to hit the open market in 2017 if they don’t sign new deals.

Here’s more on the Lions and some of their division rivals:

  • Speaking of Johnson’s potential retirement, in a separate piece for the Free Press, Birkett writes that some observers believe Megatron would be more likely to continue playing for the Lions if the team had won more during his time in Detroit.
  • The Lions have hired former Miami and Temple head coach Al Golden as their tight ends coach, the team announced in a press release. It’s the first NFL job for the longtime college coach, who was with the Hurricanes from 2011 to 2015.
  • Vikings tackle Phil Loadholt, who is working his way back from a torn Achilles, is optimistic that he’ll be ready to go for offseason workouts this spring. However, it remains to be seen whether he’ll still be on Minnesota’s roster at that point, since the club could create $6MM in cap savings by releasing him. Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune spoke to Loadholt about his recovery and his uncertain contract status.
  • Earlier this afternoon, we learned that Bears tight end Zach Miller is seeking $5MM per year on his next contract. That story is right here.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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