NFC Notes: Frank Ragnow, Montez Sweat, Bears, Lions, Packers

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Bears

Bears LB Montez Sweat admitted that he was initially disappointed to be traded but found that he was able to play with more relief after he signed a new deal with Chicago.

“Man, it’s been a roller coaster,” Sweat told NFL.com at the Pro Bowl. “A roller-coaster ride. Just gotta enjoy the ride. Some slopes gonna be kinda tough, sometimes it’s gonna be dropping and sometimes it’s gonna be fun. I’ve just been embracing it. It’s a blessing to be here. I was definitely discouraged, disappointed when I got traded. Nobody wants to get traded; just an asset, a bond, a value.”

“Yeah, just like any athlete who wants to get paid and get that money secured, it was a big relief,” Sweat added. “I think it allowed me to play more free and more loose. Do I look back on it, yeah, I feel like it was what God wanted.”

Lions

Lions GM Brad Holmes has nothing but respect for veteran C Frank Ragnow, who pushed through the season and into the playoffs despite dealing with multiple injuries that also included an inoperable toe condition.

“I have so much respect for him and for everything that he goes through and fights through that I’m just respectful of his time and his thoughts,” Holmes said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “We’re not going to pressure him to do anything or make any moves, but the communication will be diligent, it’ll be thorough, it’ll be respectful.”

When it comes to bringing in new talent for next season, Holmes noted that the team will be focused on adding those who fit the culture and not just the best players.

“We have to get past just looking for the most talented player,” Holmes stated. ”In my opinion, that’s the prerequisite of evaluation. That’s the – who’s the fastest? Who’s the strongest? Who’s got the most height? That’s a very coherent thing to do. No, it’s how do you find the right intangibles in a football player? And that’s what’s made us who we are.”

Packers

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst reiterated Green Bay’s support for 2023 sixth-round K Anders Carlson despite a rocky rookie season. 

“We obviously work kickers out all the time, but as we went through the course of the season, we were committed to going through the ups and downs that a lot of young rookie kickers go through,” Gutekunst said via Matt Schneidman of The Athletic. “Certainly, what we went through was not anything different than what a lot of guys go through. I think as we got towards the end of the season and we were headed towards the playoffs and had an opportunity to be in the playoffs, certainly something, if there was a veteran option out there that would have been really good, then maybe we would have considered it. But there wasn’t. He was the best option by far. We’re really excited about where he’s going.”

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