We're Black and Blue All Over:
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler began on-field work Tuesday with his fourth offensive coordinator in five years. The timing of this transition, however, is a bit more dramatic than the rest.
As Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com points out, Cutler is entering the final year of his contract and seems "perfectly comfortable with the perception that 2013 is a make-or-break season for him." Cutler: "That's not up to me to decide. I'm not worried about those things. Every year, you put pressure on yourself. Every team in the NFL is preparing to win the Super Bowl. We're doing the same thing."
Actually, Cutler will play a role in how the issue will be decided, and the extent to which the Bears push to re-sign him. Cutler said as much earlier in the interview, noting: "You've got to win games to earn those contracts."
The Bears are in a pretty decent position from an organizational perspective. They have a quarterback that they hope and believe will be their long-term starter, but they haven't made a financial commitment that will impact their judgment. The most significant deciding factor, as it should be, is Cutler's own performance:
Continuing around the NFC North:
Bears general manager Phil Emery on failed negotiations with linebacker Brian Urlacher, via Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times: "We’ve committed more resources to Brian than any Bear in the history of the organization. We were willing to commit more. In the end, we just could not agree what that amount was. It’s no more than that."
The emphasis of the Bears' new passing game under coach Marc Trestman is getting rid of the ball quickly, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is taking a bigger leadership role this offseason, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
The Lions re-signed defensive end Willie Young to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million, lower than the $2.023 million restricted free agent offer they originally tendered him, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Stafford wants a receiver who can help stretch the field, notes Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.
Defensive lineman Johnny Jolly didn't participate in the Green Bay Packers' first day of voluntary offseason workouts but is expected to join soon, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Packers might have to plan for a future without tight end Jermichael Finley in this draft, writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com considers whether the Packers should draft a running back in the first round.
Don't forget about Audie Cole in the Minnesota Vikings' search for a middle linebacker, writes Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune.
Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams needed to accept a pay cut to ensure his spot on the 2013 roster, writes Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Here are the results of Paul Lukas' request for reader ideas on the Vikings' new uniforms over on the ESPN.com Playbook page.