NFL Nation: Detroi Lions

Houston trade now official

March, 8, 2010
3/08/10
9:10
PM ET
D. Orlando Ledbetter reports the much-anticipated trade of Atlanta cornerback Chris Houston to Detroit has finally happened.

The Falcons get a sixth-round pick in return. The deal also includes the two teams swapping picks in the fifth round. Atlanta now has the second pick in the fifth round and Detroit will take the 18th pick in the fifth round.

Houston became expendable after the Falcons signed Dunta Robinson and re-signed Brian Williams. They also have Christopher Owens, Brent Grimes and Chevis Jackson at cornerback.
We have been tracking guaranteed money on this blog ever since Detroit committed quarterback Matthew Stafford to an NFL-record $41.7 million on the eve of the 2009 draft. Finally, it's time for Stafford's deal to take a back seat.

But as it turns out, the record remains in the NFC North family. (Would you have expected anything else?) Chicago guaranteed defensive end Julius Peppers $42 million on Friday, putting Peppers at the top of our list:

Chicago defensive end Julius Peppers: $42 million
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford: $41.7 million
Washington defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth: $41 million
San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers: $38 million
Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick: $37 million*
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger: $36 million
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning: $35 million
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan: $34.8 million
Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning: $34.5 million
Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell: $31.5 million
Dallas quarterback Tony Romo: $30 million
*Vick's deal has since been terminated.

It will be interesting to see how long Peppers' record stands. If a quarterback is drafted No. 1 overall next month, you would think his guaranteed money would overtake Stafford. With only a $300,000 difference between Stafford and Peppers, there is a chance the record could soon fall. Other candidates include Manning and New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, both of whom are expected to receive contract extensions this offseason.
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Were it not for this little quarterback situation, on top of the unfortunate running back issue, the Green Bay Packers were actually headed for a training camp light on drama. If you take a look at their roster, the Packers' most obvious competition is at long-snapper.

That's right. The retirement of Rob Davis has left this job in question for the first time since 1997, as the Green Bay Press-Gazette pointed out. Davis now works in the team's front office. Rookie J.J. Jansen and first-year player Thomas Gafford are competing for the job.

Anytime you have a chance to enter camp with long snapper as your biggest drama, you're doing pretty well. That was the scenario the Packers were facing on June 19, their final day of minicamp before players were dismissed for summer.

The next day, retired quarterback Brett Favre called coach Mike McCarthy and told him he was considering a comeback. (You know how that one's worked out). And as the summer moved along, precious little progress was reported in the contract negotiations of tailback Ryan Grant.

As the Packers open camp Monday with an 8:45 a.m. CT practice, they still are trying to figure out how to deal with Favre's request. And Grant is nowhere near Green Bay, holding out after receiving what his agent termed an "insulting" offer from the Packers late last week.

We're on site and will bring you updates as the day progresses. For now, here's a quick swing through the rest of the NFC North.

  • So far, Paris Lenon is holding off rookie Jordon Dizon for the Detroit Lions' middle linebacker job, reports the Detroit Free Press. "...For a rookie to come in and be the starting middle linebacker in this package, it's hard," defensive coordinator Joe Barry said.
  • Lions vice-chairman Bill Ford Jr. says players are buying into coach Rod Marinelli's message. "I believe that gives me real faith in this season," Ford told reporters in Detroit. "We haven't had that in the past."
  • Who says they're cheap? After signing kick returner/receiver Devin Hester to a four-year contract extension, the Chicago Bears have now signed 10 players to multi-year contracts totaling $185.39 million since February, calculates Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times. That total includes about $59 million in guaranteed money.
  • The Bears have taken care of everyone on their roster that deserves it, writes Mike Mulligan of the Sun-Times.
  • Defensive end Jared Allen and left tackle Bryant McKinnie are pounding away on each other at Minnesota Vikings training camp.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider

NFL SCOREBOARD

Sunday, 2/2
WEEKLY LEADERS