NFC North Hot News

Former Lion Chris Claiborne needs to lose weight (surprise, surprise), Vikes lose a corner while Bears meet with one, and Green Bay loses Vonnie Holiday. LionsFans.com has the most recent hot news regarding each NFC North foe that has transpired over the past week.

Below is an update on the teams within the NFC North division. News gathered from BearReport.com, VikingUpdate.com, PackerReport.com, and LionsFans.com. Most recent news bits sorted first.

Chicago Bears

Bears lose backup lineman
Kevin Dogins signed with the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday. The offensive lineman spent the last two years with the Bears mostly in a backup role. However, due to injuries Dogins played in 15 games last season and started eight.

The Bears didn’t offer unrestricted free agent a contract, because they have several young players ready to fill a similar role. Terrence Metcalf, Bernard Robertson and Steve Edwards can all play multiple positions.

Top flight CB visits Windy City
CB Terance Newman, rated by many experts the best prospect in the draft, visited Bears headquarters on Wednesday.

Quarterback battling for roster position
Henry Burris will be battling for a roster spot in training camp. Trying to gain more experience the quarterback decided to go to NFL Europe. In the season opener for the Berlin Thunder Burris put up decent numbers, but his team lost to the Scottish Claymores.

While splitting time, Burris threw for 149 yards on 12-16 passing to go with one touchdown and interception. He also ran he a score.

At this point Burris is a long shot to be with the Bears next year, but with a good couple of months could latch on somewhere else.

Center visiting Cleveland
Dogins, a center with the Chicago Bears, worked out for the Browns this week. He is one of several offensive linemen who have been in Cleveland this week.

Possible role model in Chicago?
Alex Brown was a dominant pass rusher at Florida, but that translated to just 2.5 sacks in his rookie campaign. Brown will be expected to increase that number in 2003 and could with the help of new assistant defensive line coach Richard Dent. Dent finished his career with 137.5 sacks (124.5 with Chicago).


Green Bay Packers

Receives Remmel Award
Wide receiver Donald Driver was one of five state sports figures honored at the sixth annual Lee Remmel Sports Awards Banquet Thursday in De Pere. Driver received the Professional Achievement Award after a season in which he became a full-time starter for the Packers.

Driver finished with 70 catches for 1,064 yards and nine touchdowns. He played for the NFC in the Pro Bowl as an alternate.

Remmel is the Packers' longtime public relations director.

Packers among interested teams
DT Jermaine Haley has become a hot commodity this week, with Green Bay believed to be negotiating with him, and Washington and New England also believed to be interested. Haley would cost a team a seventh-round pick to sign, although the Dolphins are interested in getting a higher pick and trading him.

Signs with Packers
DE Chuckie Nwokorie has signed with the Packers. Terms of the deal were not released.

Signs with Packers
DE Chuckie Nwokorie has signed with the Packers. Terms of the deal were not released.

Long-time Packer may not return
The Packers still are deciding whether to bring back Gilbert Brown for a 10th season. Brown is just two years older than Miami nose tackle Jermaine Haley, who visited the Packers earlier this week, but has missed considerable time with injuries.

If the Packers sign Haley, a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet, and Miami does not match, Brown probably will not return. But there's a chance that the Packers will bring Brown back anyway to compete for a starting job, or to serve in a backup role.

Unsung Hero
Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila will be honored at the 30th annual NFL fever/NFL Players Awards Gala on Thursday along with 31 other NFL players as "Unsung Heroes."

One player from each team is selected for their contributions on and off the field as voted on by fans and players.

Leaves for Kansas City
Defensive end Vonnie Holliday signed a five-year deal today with the Kansas City Chiefs. Holliday reportedly received a signing bonus of between $3 million to $4 million, according to reports.

Holliday, 27, also was weighing an offer from the Arizona Cardinals that was more lucrative but he opted for the Chiefs because they have a better chance of making the playoffs.

Offensive lineman Acquired
The Packers traded a conditional seventh-round pick in '04 to Washington for guard-center David Brandt. Last year, Brandt left the Redskins before the start of training camp and didn't play. The year before, he signed with the Redskins as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan and started two of 13 games at guard. Brandt will be competing for a roster berth with another former Big Ten player, guard-center Bill Ferrario. He was a fourth-round pick in 2001, the same year that Brandt came out. The Packers wanted Ferrario to go to NFL Europe and learn how to play center. But after going through training camp in Florida Ferrario refused to go, citing personal reasons.


Minnesota Vikings

Vikes lose corner
CB Tyrone Carter has agreed to a two-year deal with the New York Jets. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Eyeing return specialist
Return specialist Hodges Mitchell worked out for the team on Wednesday. He was an undrafted free agent last season.

Selects Vikings over Pack
The Vikings continued to shore up the defense earlier this week, signing another defensive back. Ron Israel, who was expected to be drafted last year coming out of Notre Dame before suffering a severe hamstring injury, signed a two-year deal for what VU is told is near league minimum with a modest signing bonus. Israel had reduced his wish list to two teams -- the Vikes and Packers -- before opting to come to Minnesota.

While Israel is listed as a cornerback by some, don't be surprised to see him lined up at minicamp playing safety. He is expected to get a shot at earning a starting job at safety, which is looking more like an open competition all the time.

Minnesota calls it quits during negotiation process
The Vikings have officially quit talking with WR Oronde Gadsden. After trying for two weeks to reach a contract agreement, the Vikings have stopped negotiating with his attorneys. Gadsden isn't sitting at home moping, however. He's in Boston today visiting with the Patriots.

Former Lion needs to shed pounds
The Vikings want Chris Claiborne to shed a few more pounds and be more active as an outside linebacker. Apparently the rationale is defensive coordinator George O’Leary’s desire to tinker with a 3-4 defense.

Viking is Jamaica-bound
One thing is for sure. Defensive tackle Chris Hovan is going to have to dress better for TV than he does for his workouts at Winter Park, where he wears ripped shorts and muscle shirts. Hovan is going big time. He is one of ten athletes who will compete in the 2003 Rx Superstars in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The format -- famous in the 70s -- is being revived by CBS.


Lions Report Top Stories