Let’s take a quick spin around the NFL’s two North divisions:
- Although the Steelers are proceeding as if veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will return in 2017, the club is still expected to search for a long-term successor in the draft, according to Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com. “I think we’ve been in that mindset for the last several years, that’s what this business tells us to be in,” said Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin. “We better start sharpening our sword in terms of evaluation of quarterbacks and what’s available to us or potentially available to us, that’s just due diligence. So yes, we have.” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert also indicated earlier this year that his team would start to look for a Roethlisberger replacement at some point, a course of action PFR suggested when assessing Pittsburgh’s top offseason needs.
- Lions running back Theo Riddick had surgery on both wrists near the end of last season, reports Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, who adds those operations forced Riddick to be placed on injured reserve in December. Riddick, who still managed 53 receptions in an injury-shortened 2016 campaign, is expected to be available for the beginning of OTAs. Detroit is still expected to upgrade its backfield this offseason, meaning the club could target options either through free agency (where a number of backs are still unsigned) or the draft.
- Christine Michael‘s new contract with the Packers is a one-year, minimum salary benefit deal that includes a $25K signing bonus, tweets Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Thanks to the MSB, Michael will earn $800K but only count for $640K against Green Bay’s cap. Michael, 26, is one of only three running backs currently on the Packers’ roster along with Ty Montgomery and Don Jackson.