NFC North: Ian Greengross
I was remiss in not addressing a secondary portion of Thursday's radio appearance by Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress. While insisting he does not know if quarterback Brett Favre will play in 2010, Childress did say that he has moved past his disappointment in tailback Adrian Peterson for missing the team's mandatory minicamp last month.
Childress confirmed he has since spoken with Peterson and said they have agreed to disagree on the absence. "You let bygones be bygones," Childress said. "I know how he feels. He knows how I feel, and you keep moving."
In other words, Childress didn't accept Peterson's explanation but isn't going to make it an issue any longer. That leaves open the question as to exactly why Peterson skipped three days of practice to attend a one-day parade in his hometown. Perhaps Peterson will address it when training camp opens next week.
Continuing around the NFC North as we head into the final dark weekend of the offseason:
- Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com examines the Vikings' tight end position.
- Chicago-based agent Ian Greengross is the subject of an NFL Players Association investigation into impropriety, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com. The issue involves a phone call made to Chicago Bears safety Danieal Manning.
- Speaking at a charity cruise he hosted Thursday night, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said: "You can see a totally different attitude offensively from all the guys so it's going to be exciting. We'll see how it works. We've got to get through three or four preseason games and really see what happens [on the field]." Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times provides a transcript of Cutler's comments.
- The Chicago Tribune has video of Cutler's interview.
- Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh might hold off finalizing his contract until No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford signs with the St. Louis Rams, writes Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News.
- The Lions didn't realize how competent right guard Stephen Peterman was until he missed the final seven games of last season, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
- Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com on Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant: "Beginning with Week 8 of the '07 season, when Grant assumed the starting job from DeShawn Wynn during an overtime win at Denver, Grant has rushed for 3,385 yards. The only other player in the NFL in that time span with more? Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, with 3,814."
It's usually a warning sign when a draft-eligible player changes agents in the middle of April, and, well, Alabama offensive lineman Andre Smith doesn't need any more red flags.
But that's exactly what has happened, writes Ian R. Rapoport of the Birmingham News. According to the report, Smith fired agent Alvin Keels over the weekend and is expected to hire Ian Greengross.
If you haven't noticed, I don't typically dig too deeply into agent news. Most of it is inside-baseball gossip that doesn't hugely impact what you see on the field. But in this case, Smith's handling of his representation is a reflection on the general disarray of his draft status over the past five months.
It's an issue on this blog because Green Bay, armed with the No. 9 overall pick, has a strong need at tackle and will face a difficult decision about whether to draft him. Or, perhaps this news will be the final hint that Smith brings too many sideshows to merit being a top-10 pick.
Smith was suspended for the Sugar Bowl because of illegal contact with an agent in December, according to ESPN.com's Chris Low and others. He didn't settle on Keels as his agent until the middle of February, and his subsequent decision to leave the annual scouting combine without working out was disastrous.
Was it Keels' fault that Smith left early, or that he showed up out of shape for his pro day? No. But for the issue to boil over so close to the draft indicates an unsettling sense of chaos. Greengross, if he is indeed Keels' replacement, has the difficult job of halting a freefall.
Let's hear from you, Packer types. Aside from the off-field drama, and the conditioning issues, Smith is considered the most talented offensive tackle in a deep draft. Do you want him at No. 9? Or is he too risky of a pick?