NFC North Hot News

After weeks of hectic signings in the initial stages of free agency, most teams in the division are beginning to gear for the draft and wait for answers on a few remaining contract proposals.

Hot News around the NFC North Division from, and


Moving up draft boards

After yet another sizzling workout, Kevin Curtis continues to improve his draft stock. The belief is he could end up with either Kansas City or St. Louis in the second round.

OG Josh Lovelady and LB Donte1 Curry have been re-signed.


Making progress with Packers

The agent for Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and the Green Bay Packers had lengthy contract talks this week at the NFL owners' meetings in Phoenix.

"We're working on this and trying to make some things happen," said Andrew Brandt, Green Bay's negotiator.

Gbaja-Biamila's agent, Bruce Tollner, also met with Eagles officials this week regarding a contract. But Eagles coach Andy Reid said that talks with the defensive end were "dead."

Returns for workout program
Guard Bill Ferrario, who was expected to receive playing time at center this spring in NFL Europe, will not be playing in the spring league. Ferrario took part in the NFL-E training camp in Tampa, Fla., but returned to Green Bay this week for "personal reasons," according to the Packers.

After three weeks in the Berlin Thunder's training camp, Ferrario reported that he made a lot of progress.

"It's definitely been a positive experience," he told "If I was in Green Bay right now, I'd just be lifting and running. But down here I'm getting experience and reps, actually working on the exchange with the quarterback and on snapping the ball and then pass blocking or run blocking."

Anxious to play in NFL Europe
Craig Nall, who is expected to compete for a backup quarterback job behind Brett Favre this season, is thrilled to be getting a chance to play this spring in NFL Europe. Nall departed Wednesday for Scotland where he will lead the Claymores.

"I need to play well," Nall said. "I came over here to get experience. I don't know if it's do or die, but it would be good to come out and have a good showing all season."

Nall was the Packers' third-string QB last year behind veteran Doug Pederson. He did not take any snaps from scrimmage and got few, if any, reps during practices.

Says he wants out of Green Bay
Linebacker Na'il Diggs, who signed an offer sheet from the Detroit Lions last weekend, reportedly does not want Green Bay to match. Diggs, a restricted free agent, apparently is unhappy that the Packers tendered him the minimum qualifying offer of ($605,000).

The Packers have until Monday to match Detroit's offer. If they do not match, they will receive a fourth-round draft pick as compensation from Detroit.

Holding pattern
The Cardinals are believed to still be the front-runners in the race for DE Vonnie Holliday. Seattle has made an offer, and he's expected to visit Kansas City, but neither team is expected to match what has been reported as a large offer from Arizona. Holliday is expected to make a decision soon.


Getting a look

The Vikings were taking a look at Wisconsin quarterback Brooks Bollinger earlier this week. While he would seem to be a longshot for the Vikings to draft, they may be looking at him as a free-agent signing if he isn1t drafted. He could provide the team with another developmental prospect for insurance behind Shaun Hill.

Bollinger had a good Pro Day earlier this month at the University of Wisconsin, running a 4.75 in the 40. Some project him going in the middle rounds of the draft, but it is unlikely the Vikings would be willing to select him that early.

Foot surgery
Running back Michael Bennett had foot surgery Friday to repair a fracture in his foot. He started feeling pain earlier this week during the Vikings1 off-season conditioning program.

"While training Tuesday at the Winter Park facility Michael felt some discomfort in his left foot," head coach Mike Tice said. "He came in the next day and it was diagnosed as a Jones Fracture. The foot will be surgically repaired. The prognosis is for a full recovery and the down time is approximately six weeks."

Safety still an option
Talk continues to swirl at Winter Park that, if Ken Irvin plays as well as anticipated, cornerback Brian Williams will be shifted to starting strong safety.

Vikings still waiting
The Vikings are still interested in signing WR Oronde Gadsden, but he is still balking at the size of the contract and the Vikes are starting to say he would be used as the No. 3 receiver. Neither of those should be perceived as a good sign and are perhaps more gamesmanship in the negotiation process than fact. If signed, Gadsden would likely open the season as a starter.

Fails physical
WR Kenny Clark was slated to play in NFL Europe, but failed the league's physical exam. He missed last season with a back injury, and has recovered, but the league has a strict policy for insurance purposes.

Signs two-year deal with Vikings
Four-year veteran middle linebacker Chris Claiborne signed a two-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings worth $5 million. Claiborne even agreed to play the strong side linebacker position for Minnesota, something he didn't want to do, in order to get a deal done with the Vikings. He could replace Greg Biekert at middle linebacker in the future.

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