Following are some of the whispers we've been hearing from around the NFC North:
• There's a growing sense in Minnesota that free-agent LB Chad Greenway remains the Vikings' top priority this offseason, especially if fourth-year players such as Sidney Rice are not unrestricted free agents under a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. But it's also no guarantee that Greenway returns. One team that could go hard after him would be the division-rival Lions, who would be an attractive option with such a strong defensive front and a big need at Julian Peterson's soon-to-be-vacated spot.
• The Lions also have a need at the other OLB spot, on the weak side. Jim Schwartz would like a playmaker in that place, as he had with Keith Bulluck in Tennessee. Landon Johnson, who manned that position down the stretch, is not likely to return, and there's no young replacement currently on the roster. It would shock no one if this becomes a target spot through the draft.
• Our Packers sources tell us SS Atari Bigby could be nearing the end of the road in Green Bay after having a problem staying on the field this season due to ankle, hamstring and groin injuries. With rookie Morgan Burnett, who had won the starting SS job in training camp before going on I.R., expected to regain the starting job next season, the consensus seems to be that Bigby might be better off with a change of scenery.
• The Bears have consistently referred to their Week 17 loss to the Packers as a good learning experience, and C Olin Kreutz said the game was particularly valuable to the offensive line, which allowed QB Jay Cutler to be sacked six times and had trouble communicating because of a raucous Lambeau Field crowd. "It starts with me," Kreutz said. "I have to communicate all my calls so everybody knows who they have. I learned a lot on how to communicate to certain guys, so we can take a lot from that game."