Tuesday, March 12, 2013
NFC North Quick Hits: Tuesday
By Kevin Seifert
What day is it? Only Tuesday? We've had a wild week already here in the NFC North. On normal days, I might have made separate blog posts of each of the following bits of information. On the first night of free agency, they become Quick Hits. I'll add as needed to this post for the rest of the evening, barring major news.
Item: Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is a free agent.
Comment: Lost in the afternoon frenzy was that Urlacher had never reached free agency in his career. The Bears have interest in his return, but clearly the sides hadn't been able to find common financial ground. Perhaps Urlacher will test his value on the market before taking his next step.
Item: The Minnesota Vikings re-signed All-Pro fullback Jerome Felton to a three-year contract.
Comment: This deal needed to get done. Tailback Adrian Peterson averaged about twice as many yards per carry when Felton was on the field compared to when he wasn't.
Item: The Vikings re-signed linebacker Erin Henderson to a two-year contract.
Comment: If the Vikings chose Henderson over middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley, also a free agent, they picked well. Henderson is more of a playmaker and could play in the middle if needed.
Item: The Seattle Seahawks gave receiver Percy Harvin a six-year, $67 million contract with about $25 million guaranteed.
Comment: If Harvin asked the Vikings for "Calvin Johnson money," then it was just to accelerate his departure. He didn't even get Mike Wallace or Dwayne Bowe money.
Item: The Indianapolis Colts made one of the more stunning deals of the day, signing former Green Bay Packers linebacker Erik Walden to a four-year deal worth $16 million, via Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Comment: Walden won back his starting job last season only by default after Nick Perry's injury, and his poor performance against the San Francisco 49ers' read-option scheme in the playoffs will go down in Packers lore. There were few indications the Packers wanted Walden back. Clearly the Colts saw value that perhaps some others did not. I guess.
Item: The Colts also gave former Lions right tackle Gosder Cherilus a five-year contract worth $34 million.
Comment: It has been clear for a while that the Lions planned to move on at the position. Corey Hilliard and Jason Fox are the top two candidates for the 2013 right-tackle job.
Item: The St. Louis Rams appear to be targeting Lions safety Louis Delmas.
Comment: The Rams' defensive coordinator, Tim Walton, is the Lions' former defensive-backs coach. The Lions appear ready to move on from Delmas and are hosting free agent Glover Quin.
Item: Defensive lineman Chris Canty, who had visited the Green Bay Packers, signed with the Baltimore Ravens.
Comment: The Packers reportedly had concerns about Canty's knee. Regardless, defensive line remains an offseason priority.