<
>

BBAO: Final word on Ryan Grant

We're Black and Blue All Over:

On Wednesday, we discussed in several installments the future of Green Bay Packers tailback Ryan Grant. Let's consider the (presumable) final word on the topic.

Although Grant agreed to a $1 million reduction in his base salary, the remaining $2.5 million is fully guaranteed, according to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. That means the Packers would owe Grant the entire $2.5 million if they release him, and any team that acquires him in a trade would be inheriting the same $2.5 million guarantee.

That fact, on top of the previous knowledge that the Packers have already paid Grant a $1 million-plus roster bonus, makes it less likely from a financial perspective that the Packers will enter the season without him. There is nothing precluding them from doing so, but generally it's not good business to part ways with a player whose salary you've just guaranteed.

As we discussed Wednesday, it would still require a perfect storm of circumstances for this all to make sense. Moving on ...

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette looks at the Packers' roster to see who is a lock and who is on the bubble. Interesting bubble names include tight end Andrew Quarless and safety Charlie Peprah.

  • The Packers are looking for special-teams contributions from their young receivers, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.

  • The Chicago Bears are planning no personnel changes on their offensive line, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com. Offensive line coach Mike Tice: "We had some guys get better across the board. I think each one of the guys got better at some thing, some guys got better at multiple things. Mental errors were at a minimum and they played hard. We played with good technique, for the most part, so it was a good stepping stone for us. But we've got a long way to go still."

  • Bears wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher has a pretty big booster in quarterback Jay Cutler. David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune explains.

  • Here's what Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake had to say about receiver Roy Williams, via Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times: "He's not where he needs to be, and he knows that. He and I have talked about that -- and the good thing is, you've got Johnny Knox, who's fighting and working hard. And believe you me, Roy understands Johnny's there. Johnny's hungry, and Johnny wants his spot back. If things don't start changing, then Johnny's going to be in there. That's straight from the horse's mouth."

  • Minnesota Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe had a mild setback on his return from a hamstring injury and won't play in the team's preseason game this weekend, according to Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune. That means Shiancoe is likely to miss the entire preseason assuming coach Leslie Frazier doesn't play many starters in the final week.

  • Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson appears to have won a starting job by default, notes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.

  • Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press speaks with Vikings rookie defensive tackle Christian Ballard, who has made an impression this summer.

  • Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News on Detroit Lions tight end Will Heller: "Entering his 10th season in the league, Heller is certainly that, playing all of the above positions for the Lions. His primary position remains tight end, but he's also playing the 'H' back when offensive coordinator Scott Linehan chooses to go to a two-back set. In those sets, Heller can either be a fullback, a pass protector or receiver."

  • Lions rookie receiver Titus Young is still recovering from a hamstring injury but made a nice catch in practice Wednesday, notes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.

  • All three of the linebackers who started in Week 1 last year for the Lions last season are out of the league, notes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.