We're Black and Blue All Over:
No player has worn No. 50 for the Chicago Bears since Mike Singletary's last game 21 years ago, but it was not retired and apparently will not be anytime soon. The team issued it to new linebacker James Anderson, after a discussion between Singletary and chairman George McCaskey about the need to put it back in circulation.
McCaskey told Larry Mayer of the team's website: "I talked to Mike Singletary and told him that we hadn't assigned 50 to anybody since he retired and that we needed to put it back in circulation. He said he wasn't aware that it hadn't been assigned, that he's got no problem with it, and he's perfectly fine with it. In fact, he would prefer that it be assigned to somebody. He said, 'I'd rather somebody wear it than see it hanging it up in a window somewhere."
The NFL requires linebackers to wear numbers in either the 50s or the 90s. Two 50s have already been retired, No. 51 for Dick Butkus and No. 56 for Bill Hewitt. Singletary was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Bears are hosting California center/guard Brian Schwenke on a visit Wednesday, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
The Bears also signed a center, free agent Taylor Boggs, and two defensive linemen -- Andre Fluellen and Kyle Moore -- on Tuesday, notes ESPNChicago.com.
The Bears are "embracing change," said receiver Brandon Marshall via Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com on the career of retired Detroit Lions place-kicker Jason Hanson: "There was nothing common about Hanson's 21-year career."
Lions general manager Martin Mayhew on new place-kicker David Akers, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "Another solid veteran, a guy with a lot of experience and playoff experience. He's been kicking outdoors his whole career. We think he'll get a boost from kicking inside, so I think he'll be a good player for us."
Retired Lions left tackle Jeff Backus, via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News: "I was extremely fortunate to play the number of years that I did. You start taking into account your age, the way your body feels -- it was an easy decision for me. I have three little kids. I want to run around the yard and play with them, have fun with them, coach them up and move on to that phase of my life. I've been extremely fortunate to play in Detroit for 12 years, to play for one team. The Ford Family has been great to me. The fans have been loyal. At the end of the day, it was just time for me to call it a career."
Tim Twentyman of the Lions' website spoke with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, who visited the team's facility Tuesday.
Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel profiles Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers, the brother of Green Bay Packers starter Aaron Rodgers.
Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "Loyce Means would love to become the next Tramon Williams."
The Minnesota Vikings remain in contact with cornerback Antoine Winfield, but it's unclear if he wants to return, according to Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
Vikings officials spent some time at Nike headquarters in Oregon viewing their new uniforms, which will be revealed April 25, according to Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune.