NFC North Notes: Lions, Packers, Bears

Matthew Stafford hasn’t had a particularly productive campaign in 2018, and the Lions have struggled to a 3-6 record while ranking just 9th in offensive DVOA. But that doesn’t mean Detroit will have any interest — or opportunity — to move on from its veteran quarterback this offseason, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. “You’ve got as much chance of getting rid of Matthew Stafford as the Baltimore Ravens did of Joe Flacco prior to next year, because there was no way they were ever getting rid of Joe Flacco because of the way his contract was structured until 2019 at the earliest,” says former agent and current CBS.com contributor Joel Corry. Stafford signed a five-year, $135MM extension in 2017 that included a $50MM signing bonus. That bonus is prorated through 2021 at a rate of $10MM annually, meaning it will be virtually impossible for the Lions to cut Stafford before 2020. Among the 25 signal-callers that have attempted at least 250 passes this season, Stafford ranks just 15th in passer rating and 20th in adjusted net yards per attempt.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • One of Stafford’s weapons, wide receiver Marvin Jones, went down with a knee injury in Sunday’s loss to the Bears, but tests showed the Lions pass-catcher’s ACL and MCL are both intact, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. However, Jones did suffer a bone bruise and is now considered day-to-day. It’s unclear if Jones will be able to play against the Panthers in Week 11, but Detroit needs all the receivers it can find (having already traded Golden Tate to the Eagles earlier this month). If Jones can’t go, fellow wideouts Bruce Ellington, Brandon Powell, and T.J. Jones would see more work behind starter Kenny Golladay. Marvin Jones, currently in his third season with the Lions, has posted 35 receptions, 508 yards, and five touchdowns this year.
  • Speaking of injuries, the Packers will be without several of their key players when they face the Seahawks on Thursday night. Per Schefter (Twitter link), wide receiver Randall Cobb, linebacker Nick Perry, cornerback Kevin King, and safety Kentrell Brice will not make the trip to Seattle. Cobb’s absence means rookie pass-catchers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown will continue to see more work alongside Davante Adams, while Perry will be replaced by Kyler Fackrell and Reggie Gilbert. King, meanwhile, didn’t play in Week 10, leaving cornerback snaps to to Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, and Bashaud Breeland.
  • The Bears did not try to re-sign guard Tom Compton this past offseason, the veteran tells Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “No,” he said. “They were pretty up front about that.” Compton wound up signing with the Vikings for less than he made with the Bears in 2017. After earning $1.85MM on a one-year deal with Chicago, he inked a one-year, $900K deal with Minnesota. Originally signed to be a backup, Compton was thrust into the starting lineup after Nick Easton suffered a season-ending injury in August.
  • In case you missed it, the Lions placed starting right guard T.J. Lang on injured reserve, meaning his season is now over due to a neck injury.
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13 comments on “NFC North Notes: Lions, Packers, Bears

  1. twentyforty

    Since when are Cobb, Perry and Brice considered key players? If you believe they are you’re likely watching very old tape….at best.

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    • augold5

      They are all starters. I guess it depends on what you consider a “key player”

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  2. tharrie0820

    “Just” 9th? isn’t top 10 usually a good thing?

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  3. crosseyedlemon

    Totally ignoring the Vikings in NFC North news is a dirty rotten trick….but I like it.

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  4. diller79

    Stafford will be a lion for life. No way he leaves or they ever get rid of him

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  5. victorg

    broncos should go after Stafford in offseason via trade can probably get him for a 7th round pick

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  6. Wolf Hoffmann

    Stafford is not the problem in Detroit. He is the scapegoat. Other than a handful of seasons the Lions have been awful since John F. Kennedy was President. Terrible owners, terrible management, awful coaching and lack of talent on the field is the culprit. Stafford is obviously not in the league of Rodgers, Brees or Brady. But he could be a very competent QB. I don’t think even a reincarnated Johnny Unitas would be successful on the 2018 Lions.

    If they traded Stafford what would they do? They would draft a college QB in the 1st round to be their savior. Only to get his brains bashed out just like Stafford receives week after week. Then in a few years the same Detroit writer could write another article calling the new guy mediocre and hoping to get rid of his contract. Personally if I was a QB I would retire rather than play in Detroit and get my IQ lowered every week thanks to my dopey O-line.

    On second thought maybe Stafford slipped the writer a few hundred bucks to write the article with the hope the GM would read it and ship him to an NFL team.

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    • crosseyedlemon

      One of the smartest comments I’ve seen from a Lions fan. I always thought our Bears should have tried to trade for Matt rather than give Cutler that ridiculous long term deal for $150M. Stafford can win you games with the proper support. Would those who complain about him rather have Jimmy Garroppolo who costs about the same?

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      • Wolf Hoffmann

        Stafford was an exciting player when he had a half decent O-line and Megatron. No QB can get sacked 8 times a game and be expected to shine. Add in a terrible defense, shaky special teams and no running game and it is a disaster. If Superman was real and wanted to play QB in Detroit then just maybe the Lions would have a chance.

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    • bradthebluefish
      bradthebluefish

      Right on the money! Lions have talent. I’ve yet to see it be fully utilized. And defense always seems to have been a sore spot.

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