We're Black and Blue All Over:
Good morning. We're expecting a busy day here at NFC North blog headquarters on the first full day of NFL free agency.
Atop the list is three players who have or are visiting the Detroit Lions: running back Reggie Bush, safety Glover Quin and defensive lineman Jason Jones. We're also hoping to get a sense of where receiver Greg Jennings will land, and of course, the mere connection of "free agent" and "Brian Urlacher" still hasn't sunk in.
In the quiet of the morning, however, let's catch up on some details in local coverage from Tuesday's action -- starting with some odd descriptions of the way the Minnesota Vikings released cornerback Antoine Winfield:
According to Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune, Winfield was working out at the Vikings' practice facility when general manager Rick Spielman summoned him to his office and informed him of the news. Spielman did not offer Winfield the opportunity to play at a lower salary, according to Wiederer.
The Vikings made Phil Loadholt one of the highest-paid right tackles in the game, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. Loadholt received a four-year deal worth $25 million, including $7 million guaranteed.
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder on rumors that receiver Percy Harvin didn't want to play with him, via Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "I haven't put too much thought into it. If that was his opinion, that's unfortunate. But he's a Seahawk now, so it doesn't really matter."
The Green Bay Packers offered Jennings a contract worth $10 million annually a while ago, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
The Packers want free-agent running back Steven Jackson, but only at their price, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Packers reduced the salary of defensive end Johnny Jolly, who has been reinstated by the NFL after a three-year suspension, from $2.521 million to $715,000, according to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. It's not clear if that means they plan to give him a chance to make the team or were merely making a salary-cap maneuver.
The Lions are in position to make "a ruckus" Wednesday, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Signing Bush and Quin would be an impressive start to the Lions' 2013 season, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News.
The Lions are working toward a three-year deal with cornerback Chris Houston, according to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports via Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
Urlacher is awaiting a counteroffer from the Bears, according to WFLD-FOX 32 in Chicago via Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
It was stunning to see the Bears sign both left tackle Jermon Bushrod and tight end Martellus Bennett, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer helped develop Bushrod in New Orleans, notes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.