NFC North Roundup: Cut and Paste (And Restructure)

While the Bears are removing Anthony Adams and attempting to work out a deal with Matt Forte, the Packers are doing similar work - Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports said this week that the Packers will likely be parting ways with Chad Clifton and will be working to restructure the contract of Donald Driver. If Driver stays, he'll be entering his 14th year in Green Bay and is due $2.6 million in salary next season as well as a $2.2 million roster bonus next month. $4.8 million for the fourth-most productive wide receiver (fifth if you include Jermichael Finley) on the team last year?

Meanwhile, the Vikings have come to a decision on quarterback turned gimmick receiver turned backup quarterback turned hybrid of the two... He'll be focusing on his quarterback play. Whether it's to keep him as a solid backup or whether they have hopes he'll outperform first-round pick Christian Ponder is another story.

The Lions' contract talks with their franchise receiver are "progressing along" according to general manager Martin Mayhew. If he signs a contract, it's expected to make him the NFL's highest paid receiver.

The Vikings have a bit of an interesting situation with their pick. If Luck and Robert Griffin III fall one and two, they get to pick up Matt Kalil. Otherwise, they could possibly get a huge haul for their pick if one of the teams below them want Griffin.

Alphonso Smith might be on the way out of Detroit a year after the Lions sent TE Dan Gronkowski to Denver for the cornerback. Jason La Canfora says that a league source said the Lions have shopped Smith to at least one team already.

One of the ramifications of Finley's contract extension with the Packers is that it frees the team up to use the franchise tag... but it likely won't be on Matt Flynn. Doing so would pay the backup a pretty large chunk of change, but such a deal would only make sense if a trade were in place or soon would be.

One last item - the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett hypothesized the Lions could cut Nate Burleson and Corey Williams to free up about 8.9 million in combined base salary. Mayhew said this week that neither of those moves are likely to happen. Extending Johnson could reduce his overall cap hit to bring Burleson and Williams back, and put the Lions back under the cap, but it'll be interesting to see how they do it.

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