BBAO: Randy Moss deal near completion*

We're Black and Blue (and stunned) All Over:

A deal that wasn't on the public horizon 24 hours ago apparently is set to be completed sometime Wednesday. ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting this morning that the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings will soon complete a trade that sends receiver Randy Moss back to his original team to make a final run at what he once referred to as the "Super Bowl, homeboy."

Schefter reports the Vikings will send the Patriots a third-round draft pick -- more compensation than the Patriots originally sent the Oakland Raiders for Moss in 2007. (That was a fourth-round pick.) Whether Moss will receive a new contract is not known. *Update: Moss will not receive an immediate extension, according to Schefter and others. But if this timeline plays out, Moss presumably would be available to practice when the Vikings re-assemble Thursday and to play in their "Monday Night Football" game at the New York Jets.

Players are off Wednesday and there is no media access currently scheduled. But obviously, we'll be adjusting our usual Wednesday routine a bit here on the blog to accommodate this story.

While we have a quiet moment, let's take our morning spin around the division:

  • Former Chicago Bears defensive end Mark Anderson, cut in a surprise move Tuesday, will sign with the Houston Texans, Schefter reports.

  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune checks in with former Bears defensive end Alex Brown, cut this offseason to make room for Anderson in the starting lineup. Brown is now with the New Orleans Saints and said: "I've moved on and that's what you have to do. You keep friendships. I wish the Bears the best and hopefully we get them to see him, hopefully down here in the Dome and not up there in 2 degrees during playoff time."

  • Bears defensive end Julius Peppers on returning to Carolina this weekend, via Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times: "I don't know how I will be received down there. 'It really doesn't make a difference to me because, regardless, you have to play the game. I still have a large fan base down there, I know that. I have people who don't like me, too. ... I don't know which crowd is going to be there."

  • Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com takes a look at the Bears' pass protection woes.

  • The Detroit Lions could install cornerback Alphonso Smith as a starter this week, writes Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News.

  • Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was "careful to protect his right shoulder" during a promotional event Tuesday, writes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.

  • Lions quarterback Shaun Hill wouldn't have scored if he had tried to run the ball into the end zone from the 6-yard line Sunday in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.

  • Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette thinks Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson should have dropped his conventions and traded for tailback Marshawn Lynch.

  • Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com goes behind the scenes with rookie Packers linebacker Frank Zombo.

  • The Packers elected quarterback Aaron Rodgers as their new NFL Players Association representative, notes Wilde.