We're Black and Blue All Over:
After a wild and emotional day on the NFL labor front, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that the NFL Players Association expects to call a vote on the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) ratified Thursday by owners. Does that mean it will pass and the game will go back into business this weekend?
At this point, the only responsible thing to say is this: I have no clue.
The NFLPA's 32 player representatives will vote on the proposal, but it's obvious that emotions are still running high. One of those representatives, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, sent out this tweet a little after 2 a.m. ET: "Media spin on owners position in this lockout is ridiculous. Believe my colleagues tweets tonight about the events of the last 24 hours."
What's the issue? Owners have made an obvious power play, writes ESPN.com's John Clayton, and placed public pressure on the players to end a lockout originally initiated by owners. The CBA they passed is "the owners' version," Clayton wrote. Their tactics and the substance of the CBA have angered players.
Eventually, there will be a deal and it's hard to imagine this final misstep causing a delay in the regular season, which is what most people really care about. But some feelings are going to have to be smoothed over first.
We'll keep you updated throughout the day.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Owners are done negotiating, Packers president Mark Murphy told Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "It isn't that the Packers didn't need their offseason. It's that every other team needed it more."
The Press-Gazette's Copeland catches up with former Packers fullback William Henderson, who will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame.
The lockout benefited the Minnesota Vikings more than you might think, writes Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Bedlam is the great equalizer."
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder is eager to start working with offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
Vikings defensive end Brian Robison on the CBA hiccup, via Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune: "What I'm hearing is [the owners] tried to slide in a good one on us. It's a good thing we read over things before we sign them."
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reviews the Detroit Lions' "to-do" list in anticipation of a new CBA.
The Chicago Bears can add up to 36 players in the next few days if training camp roster limits are pushed to 90, notes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
The Bears would like to sign tailback Matt Forte to a contract extension this season, according to Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
Bears defensive tackle Anthony Adams worked in an intense program this offseason toward a graduate business degree, writes Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.