NFC Notes: Kuechly, Packers, Lions

Saints running back Tim Hightower has a new appreciation for the business side of the NFL after having negotiated his own contract last offseason.

“I don’t regret anything,” Hightower told Nick Underhill of The Advocate. “It forced me to learn and have some conversations. Whether it was with (general manager) Mickey Loomis, whether it was with coach (Sean) Payton, it forced me to have some conversations that I probably wouldn’t have had before.”

Hightower ultimately landed a one-year deal worth $840K. The running back has run for 422 yards and one touchdown this season.

Let’s check out some other assorted notes from around the NFC…

  • The Panthers announced that Luke Kuechly has returned to practice. The linebacker hasn’t suited up for the team in 20 days, when he was concussed during his team’s win against the Saints. The 25-year-old has 102 tackles and two sacks this season.
  • Packers linebacker Nick Perry had surgery to repair several broken fingers, sources told’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). The veteran will be out for this weekend’s contest against the Seahawks, but it doesn’t sound like the 26-year-old will be out for long. Rapoport notes that the organization is hoping Perry can continue playing in a cast.
  • The Lions cleared out tight end Brandon Pettigrew‘s locker today, and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that it’s only a matter of time before the team moves on from the 31-year-old. Pettigrew, who has sat out the entire season as he’s recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, is under contract through 2017.
  • The Lions shouldn’t expect much from running back Joique Bell, writes’s Michael Rothstein. The team could certainly use a running back, and Bell did have an 860-yard campaign with Detroit in 2014. However, Rothstein believes the 30-year-old’s best days are behind him. The Lions added the veteran running back yesterday.
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