Stephen Denmark

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Bears, Lions, Packers and Vikings are noted below.

Additionally, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads today. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings

Bears Cut 34, Reach Max

The Bears reached the NFL’s mandatory 53-man limit by dropping 34 players and placing two players on IR.

Here’s the full breakdown:

Waived:

RB Josh Caldwell
RB Ryan Nall
WR Tanner Gentry
WR Taquan Mizzell Sr.
WR Marvin Hall
WR Thomas Ives
WR Joe Walker
WR Jordan Williams-Lambert
TE Ellis Richardson
TE Jesper Horsted
TE Ian Bunting
OL Jordan McCray
OL Alex Bars
OL Sam Mustipher
OL Marquez Tucker
OL Joe Lowery
OL Tommy Doles
DE Jonathan Bullard
DL Jonathan Harris
DL Jalen Dalton
DL Daryle Banfield
LB Jameer Thurman
OLB Chuck Harris
OLB Matt Betts
CB Michael Joseph
CB John Franklin III
CB Clifton Duck
S Jonathon Mincy Sr.
S Doyin Jibowu
LS John Wirtel
OLB Kylie Fitts
OLB James Vaughters
CB Stephen Denmark

Released:

QB Tyler Bray

Placed on IR:

TE Dax Raymond
G Blake Blackmar

Bears Sign Three Rookies

The Bears have started to ink their draft picks to contracts. The team announced tonight (via Twitter) that they’ve signed three rookies to deals:

Ridley is the most notable name on the list, and that’s not entirely due to his draft stock. Rather, the Georgia product is the younger brother of Falcons wideout Calvin Ridley. Chicago selected Ridley following another productive collegiate season, as the receiver hauled in 43 receptions for 559 yards and nine scores.

Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Anthony Miller seem to have a solid hold on the top three spots on the Bears’ depth chart. However, Ridley could give a pair of free agent additions, Cordarrelle Patterson and Marvin Hall, a run for that fourth spot.

Whyte should have a shot at making the Bears roster as a third or fourth running back behind Mike Davis and Tarik Cohen, as he’ll be competing with unproven options like Ryan Nall, Taquan Mizzell, and fellow rookie David Montgomery,. Denmark will have a more difficult time establishing a role on a team that added free agents Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Buster Skrine.

Following these moves, the Bears have two unsigned draft picks remaining: Montgomery and cornerback Duke Shelley.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Notes: Sternberger, Jets, Thorson

The Patriots are on the lookout for tight end help in the wake of Rob Gronkowski‘s retirement, and the club will have a top-30 visit with Texas A&M TE Jace Sternberger, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. The Pats could use their No. 32 overall pick on a tight end, and while that may be a little high for Sternberger, top prospects Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson may be off the board by that point. Alabama’s Irv Smith Jr. could be available, though, and there is no reason why New England, which has deployed two tight ends to great effect in the past, could not use several of its 12 picks in this year’s draft on the tight end position.

Now for more draft-related rumblings from around the league:

  • In addition to the Patriots, Wilson reports that Sternberger has visits lined up with the Chiefs, Packers, Lions, Cowboys, Vikings, and Seahawks.
  • Brian Costello of the New York Post does not believe that the Jets will invest high-end draft capital on the WR, RB, or TE positions this year in light of their free agent expenditures, but he still thinks the club could bolster those units with collegiate prospects. He suggests that Gang Green could use a middle- or late-round selection on a wideout, particularly if that player offers return ability, and he thinks a Day 3 blocking tight end and power back could also be in the cards. Of course, with only six draft picks at the moment, New York may need to focus on areas of greater need.
  • Penn State DE Shareef Miller will visit with the Ravens, Cardinals, and Jets, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Miller currently projects as a Day 3 pick, but all three clubs could use pass rushing help, and Miller has the raw ability to succeed as a 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB.
  • The Broncos may be hosting some of the top QBs in this year’s draft class, but they’re looking at more under-the-radar passers as well, as Mike Klis of 9News.com tweets that Denver will be working out Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson in early April. Thorson is expected to be a middle-round selection.
  • Valdosta State CB Stephen Denmark has top-30 visits lined up with the Browns and Saints, per Wilson (via Twitter).