Graves also hopes to work out new deals for cornerback Richard Marshall and defensive lineman Calais Campbell.
TO FRANCHISE OR NOT? The Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys are facing similar situations over the next two weeks.
Both are trying to decide whether to use the franchise tag on key players to prevent them from becoming free agents. The Bears are trying to decide what to do with running back Matt Forte. The Cowboys must make a decision with outside linebacker Anthony Spencer.
Chicago coach Lovie Smith said Thursday he expects Forte to be in the Bears backfield for the foreseeable future, with or without the tag. Forte accounted for nearly 30 percent of the team's yardage last season. He led the Bears in rushing (997 yards) and receiving (490) and was selected to his first Pro Bowl even though he missed the final four games with a sprained MCL in his right knee.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said his team will take its time about Spencer and that this week's combine could be a significant factor.
"We have some different options that we can explore and that we've talked about. We're not ready to make that decision. We don't have to make it yet," Garrett said. "But again you have to evaluate the landscape of how you can acquire talent. You look at who's available in the draft, who's available in free agency and who's available on your team and then you try to make your best decision. We're just not there yet with the Spencer decision."
SUH ON TRACK?: Lions coach Jim Schwartz was asked Thursday whether he's spoken with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh about his temperament since Detroit's playoff loss to New Orleans. His answer: Not really.
But Schwartz is hoping the defensive star has learned from past mistakes, which included a two-game suspension after stomping on the arm of a Packers offensive lineman in a nationally-televised Thanksgiving Day game.
"I think, particularly, over the last couple of games, we've put some of those other things to rest," Schwartz said. "I think when you're a player that other teams target, and by target I mean target from a scheme standpoint, it's tough."
Did the flare-ups hurt Suh's reputation?
"I think the Thanksgiving game overshadowed that, but he was a really good player this year," Schwartz said.
TUNING OUT: Nielsen Co. says a record 111.3 million people watched the Super Bowl this year. San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke wasn't among them.
After the 49ers lost 20-17 to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants in the NFC championship game, Baalke went straight into planning mode.
"We had the scouts in and we were working," he said as he discussed his Super Bowl week schedule.
As a matter of fact, Baalke hasn't even watched his team's tape against New York.
"The last game, I just haven't had time to pop on yet," he said.
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