We're Black and Blue All Over:
BRISTOL, Conn. -- I'm starting the trek back to NFC North blog headquarters Thursday morning and will be back to full blogging speed by the afternoon. In the meantime, let's pass along some interesting information made public Wednesday by the NFL Players Association.
The NFLPA took the rare step of releasing salary cap totals for each team, presumably to demonstrate how much money has yet to be spent during free agency. There are no egregious offenders in the NFC North, at least not without good reason, so let's take a quick look at the NFLPA's numbers.
Chicago Bears: $3.95 million in available space
Detroit Lions: $6.8 million
Green Bay Packers: $17.8 million
Minnesota Vikings: $4.4 million
These totals line up with other media reports as well as my own resources. Keep in mind it takes anywhere from $2 million-$5 million to sign a draft class, depending on its size and the position of each pick. The Bears, Lions and Vikings are all below the average availability of $9.6 million per team. The Packers' relatively high total is available in part because they are working to sign quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews to long-term extensions.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Lions signed veteran defensive tackle C.J. Mosley to a two-year contract, notes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Interestingly, Mosley spoke and apologized to quarterback Matthew Stafford, whose shoulder he injured while playing for the Cleveland Browns in 2009. Mosley: "We shook hands and dapped up. We’re cool. I apologized. I apologized to him and the city of Detroit. He ain’t got to worry about that at all [anymore].”
The Lions still have more work to do in building their defensive line, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Free agent place-kicker David Akers left a visit with the Lions without signing a contract, notes Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.
The Packers have the lowest amount of "dead money" on their salary cap ledgers, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a testament to general manager Ted Thompson's prudent decision-making. Dead money is created by players who leave the team, via release or trade, and cause an acceleration of remaining salary cap commitments.
If Matthews receives a contract that averages more than $13 million per season, he'll be the highest-paid player at his position, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Matthews might be closer to an agreement at the moment than Rodgers, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The Vikings are working to build a British fan base, writes Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The team has a Sept. 29 game scheduled in London.
With some luck, the Bears could find a guard at the No. 20 overall pick in the draft. Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times explains.
The Bears are in the market for defensive tackles, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.