North Notes: Packers, Williams, Bengals

The Packers made a rare foray into the non-street free agent portion of the offseason waters by signing Martellus Bennett. That move figures to pay off, in the eyes of some anonymous NFL personnel men.

Bennett is way better than Jared Cook,” one personnel director said, via Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in an expansive piece. “And he’s smarter. And he’s not as selfish. He’s going to be loud, but you’ve got to live with that.”

Chiming in on this debate, a scout told McGinn: “Cook is faster straight-line, yes, but their body type is totally different. When you walk up on Bennett, that is a man. Cook can’t block you or me. Bennett can. He can seal an edge.”

While these evaluators said the deal for Bennett comes with risk because of the pass-catcher’s age (30) and recent injury struggles. Bennett injured an ankle last season and reinjured it to the point he might require offseason surgery. One GM also mentioned 12 tight ends he would rather have than Bennett next season — a list that included Jack Doyle, Jermaine Gresham and Kyle Rudolph — but the same GM told McGinn he would only take two of those tight ends (Rob Gronkowski and Rudolph) over Bennett as a blocker.

Here’s more from the Norths as free agency nears its third week.

  • Lance Kendricks‘ two-year Packers accord will be worth $4MM, with $1.2MM guaranteed, per McGinn. This could prove to be a value-re-establishing pact for Kendricks, who saw the Rams get out of a four-year, $18.5MM deal by cutting him.
  • Brandon Williams received interest from beyond Baltimore, but the Ravens succeeded on a persistent push to retain him. The fifth-year nose tackle wasn’t keen on being the latest impact Ravens UFA defection. “I wanted to come back. I tried to kind of leave hints,” Williams said, via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Ravens signed their former Division II find to a five-year, $52.5MM deal. That pact includes a $12.5MM signing bonus. The Bills’ decision to revert back to a 4-3 look will make Williams the league’s highest-paid nose tackle by a wide margin.
  • Despite Kevin Minter pledging to come to Cincinnati for the 2017 season, Reuben Foster remains an option for the Bengals with their No. 9 overall pick, Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Minter signed a one-year deal, and Foster — if taken at No. 9 overall — would be under team control for five. Plus, Minter has positional versatility that would allow him to play alongside the Alabama middle linebacker.
  • Ricky Jean-Francois left his Bears visit without a contract, and the UFA defensive lineman will make his way to Seattle for a scheduled Seahawks summit, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets. Anderson added
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7 comments on “North Notes: Packers, Williams, Bengals

  1. jimmyz

    Wouldnt mind Ricky Jean Francois taking a visit to Pittsburgh. Steelers are set with d-line starters in Heyward, Tuitt and Hargrave but can use depth on the ends and Francois could factor into their base and “big” nickel packages allowing Heyward and Tuitt to not have to play almost every down. They have more money to spend than usual this offseason and no CBs or OLBs still on the market are going to make a big impact. Also would likely mean they wouldnt have to use a draft pick on the dline and can focus on other needs.

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  2. Marcell24

    Vikings fan here, I just needed to chime in about this GM who said they would The Rudolph over Bennett as a blocker. That’s preposterous, you ask any Vikings fan and they’ll tell you Rudolph is average at best at blocking. His skills are pass catching and that’s about it. He is not a big YAC guy because one hit and he’ll go down so no fighting for extra yards, and with his blocking be struggles big time. The Vikings would not run to his side very often and if he had to pass block….. Well good luck QB.

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  3. oriolesravenstimberwolves04

    He signed with the ravens not the bills!? Does anybody edit these things?

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    • Krahril45

      It doesn’t say bills anywhere.

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      • RegularEd

        It certainly does.

        “The Bills’ decision to revert back to a 4-3 look will make Williams the league’s highest-paid nose tackle by a wide margin.”

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        • DiggerTim

          Meaning the former Nose Tackle with the Bills (Marcell Dareus) who is highly paid is not a Nose Tackle anymore.

          Admittedly there are a lot of grammatical and factual errors within this family of sites (way more than there ought to be), and this could have been better clarified, but it is correct.

          Having a background in sports radio, and copy writing, I would say that perhaps they need to hire a better editor to look over their stories, or maybe just more attentive writers.

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          • pt57

            It’s a free site. And a pretty good one. Sometimes you just have to go “eh” and ignore the little stuff. They’re quick at correcting their stuff when mistakes are pointed out.

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