We're Black and Blue All Over:
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Green Bay Packers' decision not to use their franchise tag suggests that free-agent defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins will be moving on to another team this offseason, an idea Jenkins himself endorsed in an interview with Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Jenkins: "I'm 99% sure something won't happen. Not at this point. You get to a point where you want to go where you feel you're wanted. The way everything came down, it's just time for a new start."
As we've discussed before, the cost of franchising Jenkins would have been substantial; Silverstein projects the franchise tag at $12 million for defensive ends. The Packers have two young players, Mike Neal and C.J. Wilson, who can play Jenkins' position. In addition, veteran Johnny Jolly has applied for reinstatement after serving a one-year NFL suspension.
Stranger things have happened, but this decision has played out as expected.
Continuing around the NFC North on a snowy Friday at the NFL scouting combine:
Baylor guard Danny Watkins could be a nice fit for the Packers, writes Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com notes the confidence of Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi.
The Chicago Bears remain close to a contract extension for coach Lovie Smith, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
The Bears met Thursday with Carimi, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
Former Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan is denying a report that he once referred to Dave Duerson using a derogatory term, writes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz on quarterback Matthew Stafford, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "He's been injured. He's missed whatever many games he's missed, but it doesn't take away from the confidence that we have in him and his abilities and things like that. He doesn't have anything that's going to hinder him in the future. We think there's great things ahead for Matt Stafford, there's great things ahead for the Lions."
The Lions face a different dynamic choosing at No. 13 overall, notes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
The final cost of the Metrodome's new roof will be $25 million, up from original estimates of $18 million, according to Dave Orrick of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. All but $25,000 is expected to be covered by insurance.
Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune examines the murky situation around Minnesota Vikings receiver Sidney Rice.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com reviews the Vikings' news from the first day of the scouting combine.