BBAO: Packers to open minicamp

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Our spring season will conclude this week as the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions hold their veteran mandatory minicamps. Players will participate in three days of practices and then be dismissed for the summer. The Chicago Bears, meanwhile, are scheduled to hold their final organized team activity Thursday. The Minnesota Vikings wrapped up offseason work last week.

It'll be interesting to see who is on the field -- and who isn't -- when the Packers kick off Monday at 11:45 a.m. ET. There was a lot of confusion last week about whether cornerback Tramon Williams signed his restricted free-agent tender; assuming he did, which has not been announced by the team, he would be obligated to attend this camp. Defensive end Johnny Jolly has been excused, while safety Atari Bigby remains unsigned.

The Packers have one practice apiece on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The first two are open to the public. The Lions' camp doesn't start until Wednesday. They forfeited OTAs scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "If last week is any indication, Mark Murphy, the president of the Packers, will be one of the key voices National Football League fans will be hearing from in public as the collective bargaining talks between the NFL players union and the owners wends its way to agreement or impasse."

  • The Packers released cornerback Trevor Ford, safety Khalil Jones, linebacker Tim Knicky and quarterback Noah Shepard on Friday, according to a press release.

  • Lions defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill is expected to take a secondary role with the team this year, writes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.

  • Guard Manny Ramirez is down to his last chance with the Lions, according to Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.

  • Tight ends will be a frequent target of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in 2010, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News.

  • Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway didn't expound much on his reasons for not practicing during minicamp in an interview with the Argus Leader. Greenway: "There is no contract issue at all. Coach [Brad] Childress gave me some time off for the minicamp, and that's really all that matters."

  • Joe Webb mania is out of control, both nationally and in Minnesota. ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli provides details on the decision to shift Webb from receiver to quarterback, while the Star Tribune's Sid Hartman writes about how big Webb's hands are.

  • Receiver Johnny Knox is firmly entrenched as a starter for the Chicago Bears, writes Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.

  • Knox is also in the kick-return mix, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

  • Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times talks to Bears cornerback Joshua Moore about his decision to enter the draft last year so he could support his pregnant girlfriend.