Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
After introducing James "Shack" Harris as his new senior personnel executive, Detroit general manager Martin Mayhew made one thing clear: The Lions don't plan to lose placekicker Jason Hanson.
Hanson, a pending free agent, has been discussing a multi-year contract extension with the Lions this week. Mayhew told Detroit-area reporters that if the discussions don't lead to an agreement, the Lions will place the franchise tag on him. That move would come no later than Feb. 19.
Here's what Mayhew said, according to John Niyo of the Detroit News:
"I think we'll get something done prior to that. If we don't, we'll franchise Jason. ... It's Jason Hanson, and we appreciate everything he's done for us. And we're trying to work out a long-term deal with him."
The franchise figure for placekickers this season is $2.48 million. Mayhew also confirmed negotiations with two other pending free agents: Guard Stephen Peterman and fullback Moran Norris. He said discussions about the quarterback position -- where Daunte Culpepper and Jon Kitna are both due roster bonuses at the end of this month -- remain underway.
Continuing around the NFC North on a Friday morning:
Mayhew on Harris' hiring: "There were any number of yes-men available, and we didn't pick any of those guys." Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times wonders if the Bears prefer the 2010 class of college quarterbacks.
Here's a line from a Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial on quarterback Brett Favre's retirement: "But Green Bay and the Packers were strong before Brett. And we are convinced both will remain strong in the future."
Check out this musical tribute to Favre from a Packers fan. It was produced last year but remains relevant.
Let's just say Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune isn't impressed with the Vikings' new get-tough approach on their stadium issue.