NFC North links: Matt Forte seeking respect

Chicago Bears

Matt Forte says he's not looking to be the top-paid running back in the league. He just wants a fair deal. "All you can ask for is respect, and you go out there and you do your best to earn it. Respect isn't given to anybody," Forte said. "You've got to earn it out there. So the way I go about playing the game, preparing for it and the way I play, I feel I have earned the respect."

Defensive tackle Henry Melton may get the call to play the role of the "Fridge" in short-yardage situations for the Bears this season.

Detroit Lions

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "The deadline for the Detroit Lions to sign franchised defensive end Cliff Avril to a long-term deal is just over a month away, and the two sides don’t appear to be any closer to an agreement."

Several players took to the links Wednesday for the Lions' 22nd annual charity golf invitational.

Green Bay Packers

Phillip Merling is looking to make the most of his opportunity with the Packers. “I think you can take it for granted getting drafted pretty high, and things are kind of handed to you,” Merling said this week in his first comments since signing with the Packers. “Right now, nothing’s handed to you. You can see where I’m at. I’m just working from the ground up. I like it, though. It’s a challenge.”

Might we see more of Randall Cobb on offense in 2012?

Minnesota Vikings

Vikings fullback Jerome Felton apologized on Wednesday for his arrest this past weekend.

Center John Sullivan has embraced his evolution from unknown to locker-room leader.