As we await final word on the state of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which appears headed into a bonus day of Friday negotiations, we have a few last-minute NFC North personnel moves to review.
Most notably, multiple media outlets are reporting the Detroit Lions decided against offering a tender contract to running back Kevin Smith, who has accrued three NFL seasons and thus would be a restricted free agent under any circumstances. It's possible the Lions could re-sign Smith at a later date, but that seems unlikely.
Smith, who was a part of Matt Millen's final draft class with the Lions, dealt with knee and shoulder injuries over the past two seasons and had been supplanted by Jahvid Best as the organization's top running back.
"I've been hurt the last two years, so to me, it was more of a business decision," Smith told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. "In this business, you can never be surprised. It's strictly business, and they did what they had to, and I'll do what I have to do."
To no one's surprise, the Minnesota Vikings did not offer quarterback Tarvaris Jackson a contract tender, signaling their long-expected plan to move on from the quarterback they once hoped would be a permanent successor to Brett Favre. Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune has details.
There has been some speculation about whether Lions linebacker Zack Follett will continue his career after suffering a series neck injury last season. Follett tweeted Thursday afternoon: "God presented me with a 2011 Detroit Lion contract.. He must want me to play! Signed! #teamJesusineffect." So there you go.