The Packers will bring back veteran tight ends Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis in 2019, but that given that both players are over the age of 30, tight end must be a priority for Green Bay in next weekend’s draft, opines Jim Owczarski of PackersNews.com. Given that they own 10 picks and possess the fourth-most draft capital, the Packers will certainly have an opportunity to find a youthful tight end. With the 12th overall selection, Green Bay could theoretically target Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson, while fellow Hawkeye Noah Fant or Alabama’s Irv Smith Jr. could be in play with pick No. 30. The 2019 draft class is exceptionally deep at tight end, so the Packers should have plenty of chances to add to the position throughout the weekend.
Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:
- Speaking of the Packers‘ draft, Green Bay recently hosted Ole Miss offensive tackle Greg Little, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). Not to be confused with the former Browns receiver of the same name, this Little is anything but at 6’6″, 325 pounds. Viewed as a potential Day 2 selection, Little could help reinforce a Packers offensive line that took a step back in 2018. While left tackle should be manned by David Bakhtiari for the foreseeable future, right tackle Bryan Bulaga is entering the final year of his contract.
- While other quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers have recently campaign for new deals, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has not taken the same tack, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. Roethlisberger, 37, is entering the final year of his contract: he’s due a $12MM base salary and will count for $23.2MM on Pittsburgh’s salary cap. He’s still engaged in ongoing negotiations with the Steelers, and as Florio notes, Roethlisberger would be due more than $60MM over the next two years if the franchise tag was deployed, so that could be a starting point in talks.
- Free agent defensive end Geneo Grissom worked out for the Lions today, reports Howard Balzer (Twitter link). A former third-round pick of the Patriots, Grissom should be familiar with current Detroit head coach/former New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia‘s scheme. Grissom, 26, never lived up to his draft billing and played in fewer than 200 defensive snaps for the Patriots before being cut last November.
- New Vikings backup quarterback Sean Mannion‘s one-year deal is a minimum salary benefit pact, tweets Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune. As such, Mannion will only carry the salary cap charge of a second-year player despite having four years of NFL experience under his belt. The former Rams signal-caller received a $90K signing bonus to become Kirk Cousins‘ understudy.