Black and Blue all over: Cassel's impact on Cutler

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Tuesday, I compared the new contract of Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel to the numbers of Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford. Wednesday, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times takes a more forward-looking spin on the Cassel deal. Namely: How does it impact upcoming negotiations with new Bears quarterback Jay Cutler?

To be clear, there is no urgency for the Bears to start negotiations with Cutler, who has three years remaining on the six-year deal he signed as a rookie in Denver. But the Bears also have a surplus of salary-cap space this year that could be targeted toward a Cutler deal.

In reality, the Cassel deal confirms the market for a mid-range, long-term starter. He'll make $28 million guaranteed and $40 million total over the first three years of the six-year deal. Those numbers will serve as a starting point for Cutler, but he'll likely exceed both figures in any deal he signs.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • Bears receiver/punt returner Devin Hester wants to break Brian Mitchell's all-time record of 13 touchdown returns before giving up those duties completely, writes Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.

  • New Detroit receiver Dennis Northcutt isn't expected to face NFL discipline as a result of a lawsuit filed by his ex-girlfriend, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.

  • Green Bay backup quarterback Brian Brohm believes he's fighting for a roster spot this summer in training camp, writes Rick Bozich of the Louisville Courier-Journal.

  • As it turns out, Minnesota has already put tickets to some of its regular-season games on sale -- in advance of any potential signing of quarterback Brett Favre, notes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.

  • An assistant to Los Angeles real estate developer Ed Roski confirmed that the Vikings are one of seven teams he has pursued to play in a proposed stadium east of Los Angeles, writes Nancy Gay of AOL Fanhouse.