We're Black and Blue All Over:
The Green Bay Packers' limited use of free agency over the years means we should pay attention to every scheduled visit by a veteran to Lambeau Field. At the moment, at least, former New York Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty is set to drop by at the end of this week, according to many reports, including Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The Packers had interest in Canty four years ago, but he declined a visit because the Packers wouldn't make an offer first. Canty has several other suitors, including the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans, but this go around he is listening to the Packers.
If nothing else, the Packers' decision to host a visit indicates they will once again be aggressive about improving their defensive line this offseason. They tried to do that last spring, signing veteran Anthony Hargrove and drafting Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels. But Hargrove was suspended eight games by the NFL and later released, while Worthy suffered a serious knee injury in Week 17 and might not be ready for the start of the 2013 season.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Packers' safety position is in limbo, writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News thinks the Detroit Lions should pass on BYU pass-rusher Ezekiel Ansah and draft a "polished pass-rusher" in April. That's assuming the Lions allow defensive end Cliff Avril to depart via free agency and re-sign cornerback Chris Houston.
Justin Rogers of Mlive.com takes a look at the free-agent market at cornerback from the Lions' perspective.
Mississippi State cornerback Johnathan Banks is one of the draft-eligible cornerbacks claiming he could cover Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, notes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
Chicago Bears linebacker Nick Roach on his pending free agency, via Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com: "I'm just looking to be fairly compensated for whatever my role is going to be. I've never been the kind of guy looking to break the bank, or make a statement. That's not me. I just want fair pay for the job I'm going to be called on to do. The most important thing is knowing the organization respects you and the job you do. Then it's up to the agent and the organization to make it happen. But the big thing is having the respect of your employer. That respect is usually reflected in the type of offer that is eventually made."
Former NFL player Matt Bowen reviews 10 draft choices who could help the Bears for the Chicago Tribune.
Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton on being named the Bears' franchise player, via Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times: "It just feels good to be thought of so highly. Been a long road, and now just want to get a long-term deal done and remain a Bear for years to come."
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com thinks it is unlikely the Minnesota Vikings will franchise right tackle Phil Loadholt by Monday's deadline.