Let's end our discussion of Alex Brown's departure from Chicago with what I thought was a succinct and appropriate passage from ESPNChicago.com's Melissa Isaacson:
[M]ost teams these days don't put much of a premium on dependable players and stand-up people. They want more. More production. More for their money. More evidence that as high-powered executives, they're doing their jobs when in most cases, less is more. In Brown's situation, a little hand-wringing is fair game. For all the sacks he didn't ring up, you knew what you were going to get from him each day, each practice, each season. Dependability. Durability. No surprises. On a defense that is a far cry from the league elite, above-average known quantities like the eight-year veteran should be considered gold.
Continuing around the NFC North on an early-April Friday morning:
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher on Brown's departure: "That sucks, man." Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune recounts their discussion.
Minnesota coach Brad Childress spoke Thursday with quarterback Brett Favre, reports Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune. Hartman provided no details but wrote: "You can rest assured there is no talk with the Eagles about a trade for quarterback Donovan McNabb. Anything you read or hear about that is not true."
Green Bay tight end Spencer Havner, who fractured his scapula in a motorcycle accident last month, has reported to the Packers' offseason program. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has more.
Detroit is hoping it will elevate its roster talent enough that it won't have to rely much on free agency, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.