BBAO: Using the Lions' new cap space

We're Black and Blue All Over:

At last check, the Detroit Lions had just under $2 million in salary cap space available. That figure surely increased this week after the team signed quarterback Matthew Stafford to a contract extension. (Details to come soon, I hope). So what will the Lions do, if anything, with their extra space?

Here's what Lions president Tom Lewand told reporters in Detroit, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "I think we've been consistent in that we want to keep our young nucleus of players together for as long as we can. That's sometimes easier said than done in the salary-cap era, but I think with the extension we did with Calvin [Johnson] last year, now with Matthew in the fold, we've shown an ability to do that and we're going to continue along those same lines with that philosophy."

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who is approaching unwieldy salary-cap numbers himself, could be next in line.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • Stafford and Lewand have discussed the Lions' options with their extra cap space, writes Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.

  • Stafford after signing the extension, via Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News: "I promise you nobody is going to work harder than me to get this team going in the right direction winning games and going to the playoffs multiple years in a row. That's the whole reason I signed this deal is to be here and turn this thing in the right direction and make sure it stays that way for a long time."

  • Former Green Bay Packers linebacker Dave Robinson, who will be enshrined to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer, believes NFL players need to re-learn how to tackle. More from Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

  • Defensive lineman Datone Jones is the Packers' 16th-most important player on the roster, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.

  • The Packers' annual Family Night scrimmage is sold out, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

  • Mike Kaszuba of the Star Tribune traces the development of the charity work of Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen.

  • The Chicago Bears are expecting a lot from their running backs, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

  • Bears tailback Matt Forte, via John Mullin of CSNChicago.com: "We were kind of one-dimensional last year, I would say. So it’s going to be an emphasis for us this year to spread the ball around so that it works, it's balanced. The defense can't just focus on one guy or one position."