We're Black and Blue All Over:
Forbes Magazine recently used its 2012 valuations of NFL teams to rank them among the world's 50 most valuable sports franchises. All four NFC North teams made the cut, and it's worth noting our lowest-valued team relative to Monday's post on player payroll.
The Chicago Bears ($1.161 billion) ranked No. 16, the Green Bay Packers ($1.119 billion) were No. 18, the Minnesota Vikings ($975 million) were No. 35 and the Detroit Lions ($855 million) were No. 43. The Lions, according to the magazine, carry substantial debt load because of their contribution toward constructing Ford Field.
As we discussed Monday, the Lions have the NFL's highest payroll -- the sum of cash they will pay their players in 2013 -- at the moment. Quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson will receive $56 million alone. We all know that salary-cap rules played a part in ballooning those contract values, but in the end, one of the NFL's lowest-valued teams is paying out the most cash to its players this season. There's a note in there somewhere.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Justin Rogers of Mlive.com looks at the potential training camp battle between Lions place-kickers this summer.
Lions defensive lineman Israel Idonije was honored at the White House for his volunteer service. More from Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
Place-kicker Mason Crosby is the Packers' 11th-most important player, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Packers safeties coach Darren Perry on the low number of interceptions in the career of Morgan Burnett, who reportedly has a looming contract extension: "You have to be careful in looking at concrete numbers sometimes because people sometimes want to measure you on interceptions alone. That position involves so much more than just interceptions. He's made more than his share of big plays. They may not show up as interceptions, but he's been effective. I think he's been one of our most productive players." More from Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette looks back at the stormy departure of former Packers place-kicker Chris Jacke, who will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame this summer.
Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson is entering a "prove-it" season, writes Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Simpson is working out this summer in Minneapolis with Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald. More from Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.
The Chicago Sun-Times goes four downs with former Bears coach Mike Ditka.
ESPNChicago.com has a slideshow of the 2013 Bears.
Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune speaks with Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton, who will play this season under the terms of his franchise tag and be once again eligible for free agency this winter.