We're Black and Blue All Over:
As you probably know by now, we're in for another day of NFL labor uncertainty. Representatives for NFL owners and players will meet separately with federal mediator George Cohen as the end of their 24-hour negotiating extension draws to a close Friday at 11:59 p.m. ET.
At that point, the sides could agree on another extension, perhaps as long as a week. Or the NFL Players Association could decertify. Or the owners could lock out the players. Or some combination thereof.
All player personnel moves are frozen, however, meaning we won't have any new signings or releases Friday. As always, stay tuned.
While we have a moment, let's take a stroll through the NFC North:
The Chicago Bears executed a quiet re-negotiation of defensive end Julius Peppers' contract in anticipation of the NFL returning to a salary-cap system, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com. By converting a roster bonus into a signing bonus, the Bears lowered his 2011 salary cap number from $12 million to $4.3 million.
Former Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris, via ESPN 1000: "I'm going to come back [to the NFL] on my own terms. I'm not taking the first offer that's out there. I'm going to present myself as healthy as possible. I have not had that chance in the past, and I'm just going to come to the table when I'm ready."
Former Bears receiver Glen Kozlowski weighs in on the recent BYU morality incident with the Chicago Tribune.
Detroit Lions linebacker Zack Follett, who suffered a serious neck injury last season, received a contract tender but told Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News: "I still don't know if my neck will keep holding up, but I don't think this contract would have been offered if they didn't that it could."
It's unlikely that Lions running back Kevin Smith, who did not receive a tender offer, will re-sign with the team. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has more.
Here's what the agent for Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk told Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "A.J., he's a three-down player. I'm confident he'll be a third-down player and let's leave it at that."
Packers linebacker Nick Barnett on his future after the Packers re-signed Hawk, via Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "I am not sure as well. No one has came to me and told me anything. So just waiting to hear something."
One of the potential sites for a Minnesota Vikings stadium would be hotly contested, writes Dave Orrick of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com on the Vikings' decision to re-sign defensive end Brian Robison: "The deal with Robison is interesting because the Vikings have been reluctant since last summer to sign any players to multiyear deals."
New Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave on quarterback Joe Webb, via Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune: "I've been impressed with Joe. He's a great athlete and looks like he's got some composure and poise to him as well. He made some good decisions and some good judgments. I like the way he climbs up in the pocket, keeping his eyes downfield."