We're Black and Blue All Over:
We've got plenty of Green Bay Packers news going on these days. Hopefully you saw tight end Jermichael Finley's strong, if predictable, stance on taking a pay cut for 2013 -- he said he won't -- late Wednesday night. Now let's circle back on the NFL's decision to reinstate Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly, as Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com notes, from its indefinite suspension list.
Jolly, 30, hasn't played in three seasons but the Packers retain his rights because he was a restricted free agent at the time of his suspension. As many of you have noted, Jolly was a good, productive player before a codeine addiction halted his career. He plays a position the Packers have a clear need at this offseason and would have a decent chance of making the team if he can recapture his previous form.
The Packers can't comment on the situation because the reinstatement is not effective until Monday. There wouldn't be any downside into giving him an offseason look, other than the salary-cap space associated with his contract when the new league year starts next month, but three years is a long stretch of inactivity no matter what the reason. You would have to consider Jolly a long shot to help the Packers in 2013.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "General manager Ted Thompson has been willing to give players a second chance, but a lot will depend on how what kind of condition Jolly is in and whether it would be best for him to start over somewhere else. Starting Monday, the Packers can speak with him and begin the process of deciding whether to keep him or release him."
If the Packers keep Jolly, it will probably be under a one-year deal worth $715,000, notes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The Detroit Lions are hosting free-agent defensive lineman Mike Patterson, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Patterson would bring leadership to the team, writes Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News.
The Lions could renegotiate even more contracts before free agency, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Free-agent running back Reggie Bush is not a good fit for the Lions, according to Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News.
After prosecutors decided not to pursue charges stemming from a traffic stop Sunday, Chicago Bears left tackle J'Marcus Webb tweeted: "Headed to Texas to train. I apologize." More from ESPNChicago.com.
The Bears have options at offensive line, writes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com wonders if the Minnesota Vikings will attempt to lower defensive end Jared Allen's $17,063,956 salary-cap number.
The primary funding mechanism for the Vikings' new stadium -- electronic pull-tabs -- has come up short so far, according to Jean Hopfensperger of the Star Tribune.