We're Black and Blue All Over:
As I've made my way around the NFC North this month, multiple people have noted how quiet the Green Bay Packers' training camp has been. While the rest of the division has been dealing with a scheme transition (Minnesota Vikings), unexpected personnel moves (Chicago Bears) and injuries (Detroit Lions), the Packers have been simply motoring along during camp at Lambeau Field.
Building.With.Clay thinks I'm boycotting the Packers, but the reality is they have been overwhelmed by their newsier competitors. Perhaps that's about to change.
Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette suggests the Packers will soon begin approaching select veterans about extending their contracts, possibly this week. The list includes guard Josh Sitton, tight end Jermichael Finley and receiver Jordy Nelson.
It would take a lot of work to get all three players re-signed, and the fact that two of them -- Sitton and Finley -- are budding Pro Bowlers could make their 2011 value difficult to agree on.
There has been plenty conversation about Finley's future in the comments section of this blog, and many of you think the Packers won't spend big money to keep him. But I think it's going to be up to Finley. If he stays healthy this season, he'll have the type of season the Packers would have no choice but to reward. And if he has another injury-shortened year, his value on the open market will diminish.
For that reason, you wonder if both sides won't just let the season begin before really getting down to hard numbers. Stay tuned.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Erik Walden appears to be winning the competition to start at the Packers' right outside linebacker position, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
T.J. Lang still believes he is in the mix for the left guard position, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
The Detroit Lions will fortify their backfield depth either via free agency or trade following the loss of rookie Mikel LeShoure. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has more.
Lions right tackle Gosder Cherilus finally tested his surgically repaired right knee in practice Monday, according to Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News.
Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com offers some observations on the Lions' full-pads pass-rushing drill on Monday.
Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is making a point of incorporating player opinion into his playbook, writes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press looks at the Vikings' new defensive line arrangement.
Vikings defensive end Jared Allen is continuing to have his way with new left tackle Charlie Johnson in practice. Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com has details.
The free-agent visit of cornerback Kelvin Hayden could impact incumbents Tim Jennings and Zack Bowman, notes Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
Bears general manager Jerry Angelo on the team's offseason player acquisition plan, via Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune: "We are happy with how it worked out. I felt like we upgraded our football team. These players still have to come in, fit in and make their way. Based on what we've seen now, it's been a good mesh with these new players and the players we already had."