We're Black and Blue All Over:
It appears we are getting close to a resolution on one of the biggest offseason questions in the NFC North: Brian Urlacher's status with the Chicago Bears.
Multiple reports suggest Urlacher's agents submitted a contract proposal Thursday morning and are awaiting a response. That fact alone adds more grist to our working theory since the NFL scouting combine. The Bears haven't shut the door on Urlacher's return and seem to have interest in bringing him back in 2013 under the right scenario.
The Bears' response to the Urlacher contract offer will be telling. They could bid him farewell in a passive-aggressive way by countering with a number low enough that they know Urlacher will reject it and move to free agency. Or they could negotiate in a way that will bring about an agreement by the time free agency opens early next week.
We'll keep you updated.
Continuing around the NFC North:
It's quite possible the Bears will make a tight end their top target in free agency, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times wonders if the Bears will pursue a free agent offensive guard.
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "The agent for Cullen Jenkins said his client is more than open to a return to the Green Bay Packers."
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel isn't expecting a quick decision from the Packers on free agent defensive lineman Chris Canty, who visited Thursday.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com is convinced the Minnesota Vikings will pursue receiver Mike Wallace. Whether they are willing to pay him top dollar is another story.
Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "[I]t seems difficult to imagine the Vikings paying top dollar for a player such as Wallace or [Greg] Jennings if they're intent on keeping receiver Percy Harvin."
Get ready for a lot of speculation, writes Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune.
Tennessee receiver Justin Hunter took a pre-draft visit to the Detroit Lions on Thursday, notes Tim Twentyman of the Lions' website.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford holds all of the leverage in his current contract negotiations, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Justin Rogers of Mlive.com looks at free agent offensive linemen from the Lions' perspective.
One participant of the Lions' specialist tryout earlier this week was Norwegian kicker Havard Rugland, an Internet sensation who rose to fame because of a trick shot video. More from Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press via the Detroit Free Press.