We're Black and Blue All Over:
To date, 50 percent of the NFC North has elevated ticket prices for 2012. The other 50 percent, to my knowledge, hasn't made its plans public.
The Green Bay Packers' prices will rise from $3 to $5 per ticket, depending on location, as Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com notes. Last week, the Detroit Lions announced a 7.9 percent hike in prices, their first since 2007.
I hope no one is surprised by either move, especially after NFL teams largely kept their prices steady during last season's lockout. The Packers have a season ticket waiting list of 90,000 people, giving them extraordinary leverage when it comes to setting prices. And the Lions had actually lowered some prices in recent years before selling out all of their home games during their breakthrough 2011 season.
It's simple economics, and it wouldn't be surprising to see the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings follow suit. Stay tuned.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Packers offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse remains an option if the team doesn't bring back left tackle Chad Clifton, notes Rob Reischel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
If all things are equal, the Chicago Bears should look to draft a defensive end in the first round, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
There remains some distance between the Bears and the NFC's top teams, writes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Writing for the Tribune, former NFL player Matt Bowen says the Bears scored a coup by hiring Jeremy Bates as their quarterbacks coach. Bowen: "[T]here are those rare cases in the NFL where a player builds an extraordinary relationship with his position coaches, a working relationship on the field and in the classroom when a veteran buys into everything his coach is selling."
The national profile of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is changing, notes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
The Lions should consider drafting cornerback Janoris Jenkins, writes Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.
Minneapolis leaders are not concerned about a shortfall in their financing plan for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium, writes Frederick Melo of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Chris Doleman's life has turned upside down since he was elected Saturday into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mark Craig of the Star Tribune explains.