We're Black and Blue All Over:
Two NFL contract agreements Monday night had NFC North implications and are worth noting here on the blog.
First, the Indianapolis Colts announced a deal with free agent receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who visited the Detroit Lions last month. The prospect of Heyward-Bey's speed in the Lions' offense was intriguing, but the team could also satisfy its need for additional depth at the position through the draft.
Meanwhile, the Washington Redskins re-signed cornerback DeAngelo Hall, making it fair to wonder if they are still in contention for veteran Antoine Winfield. The Redskins are tight against the salary cap, and the return of Hall could help the Minnesota Vikings' chances of luring Winfield back after they released him last month. Coach Leslie Frazier has made it clear he wants Winfield back.
Continuing around the division:
The Vikings' deal with linebacker Marvin Mitchell is worth $765,000, leaving them about $5 million under the salary cap, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
Former Vikings defensive lineman Alan Page, now a state Supreme Court justice, has written a children's book about his misshapen pinky finger. The Associated Press, via the St. Paul Pioneer Press, has more.
The Lions have only 13 returning starters under contract, notes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Last year, they returned 21 of 22.
The structure of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' next contract will be important, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Former NFL coach Jack Pardee, who coached the Chicago Bears from 1975-77, died at 76, according to the Associated Press.
Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune on the possibility of the Bears ultimately re-signing linebacker Brian Urlacher, who hasn't signed elsewhere yet: "It's a real long shot, but not impossible."