Matt Harriss

North Notes: Packers, LaFleur, Ravens, Brown

It’s a four-year deal with a fifth-year option for the Packers and Matt LaFleur, a source tells Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). LaFleur is a fast riser who is becoming a head coach for the very first time, but he appears to have solid job security in Green Bay. The financial terms of the deal are not yet known, but it would not be a surprise if he was on the lower end of the scale given his age and lack of experience at this level.

Here’s more from the North divisions:

  • Ravens wide receiver John Brown says he’d love to return in 2019, but he’s unlikely to accept a one-year deal this offseason (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic). Brown, 29 in April, had a bit of a resurgence in Baltimore with 42 catches for 715 yards and five touchdowns in 2018.
  • Ozzie Newsome is transitioning out of his role as the Ravens‘ GM, but he isn’t retiring, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic hears. Newsome will remain under contract with the Ravens for the next couple of years, though his title and duties are not yet known. Per the succession plan, longtime assistant Eric DeCosta will take over as GM from here.
  • The Lions parted ways with VP of football operations Matt Harriss, who was touted as a salary cap expert. To take his place, the Ravens have hired Mike Disner. Disner spent the last six seasons with the Cardinals and was directly involved in their cap planning, so he appears to be a natural replacement.

North Notes: Mack, Browns, Lions, Vikings

Speaking to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) this week at Pro Bowl practices, Browns center Alex Mack said that he has yet to make a final decision on whether he’ll opt out of his contract this winter. According to Mack, he’ll start seriously considering his options after the Super Bowl, with a decision to follow within the next month or so.

Cole suggests that Mack will likely exercise that opt-out, which comes as no surprise — even if the veteran center ultimately wants to stay in Cleveland, it would make sense for him to sign a new contract with the team. Mack’s current pact calls for $8MM annual salaries for the next three seasons, and only his 2016 salary would be guaranteed if he opts in, so he should be able to easily exceed that deal on the open market.

As we wait to find out what Mack decides, let’s check in on some other items from out of the NFL’s North divisions…

  • Browns head coach Hue Jackson hasn’t been in touch with quarterback Johnny Manziel yet, but he has sat down and spoken with North Dakota State signal-caller Carson Wentz, writes Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Wentz, a potential target for Cleveland in the first round of this year’s draft, met with Jackson and the Browns at the Senior Bowl. “This just starts the process of getting to know these young players,” Jackson said. “It’s just phase one of the process. It’s just good to be able to talk to as many guys as we could. It was good to talk to him and find out a little bit about him and I’m sure I’ll get an opportunity to find out a little more as we go.”
  • The Lions have hired former Giants director of football operations Matt Harriss as their new vice president of football administration, the team announced today. Harriss is expected to play a significant role in managing the Lions’ salary cap.
  • Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune wonders if the Vikings ought to bring in some competition for punter Jeff Locke in 2016. As Vensel details, Locke’s production has trended in the wrong direction in recent years, so it would make sense for Minnesota to bring in a young punter to push him.