NFC North weekend mailbag

Another week, NFC North style, has passed on our march to the regular season. All we had was a Pro Bowl receiver undergo surprise hip surgery in one locale, an abrupt change of quarterback plans in another and a message-sending preseason romp in a third. In a fourth, we discussed in detail the task ahead for its most important player.

Things were so crazy I felt like going Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett on the whole deal:

I ain't had a day off now in over a year

My Jamaican vacation's gonna start right here

Get the phones for me

You can tell 'em I just sailed away

Pour me somethin' tall and strong

Make it a hurricane before I go insane

It's only half past twelve but I don't care

It's 5 o'clock somewhere

Remember, I read all of your comments directed to the mailbag portal, Facebook or Twitter.

On with it...

Adam of Weston Super Mare, England, writes: Bearing in mind the Sidney Rice injury and a one year window of opportunity with Brett Favre, is there any chance the Vikings offer a second-round pick for Randy Moss? He is a UFA in 2011 so he wouldn't affect their long term plans. The team needs to do something.

Kevin Seifert: Adam's sentiment was expressed universally by Vikings fans, at least those who contacted me, in the wake of Rice's hip surgery. And I'm convinced that's why so many people were disappointed when they instead acquired Greg Camarillo from the Miami Dolphins. It was a nice emergency trade, but it wasn't Moss.

It's true that Moss has suggested this is his last year with the New England Patriots because he hasn't been offered a contract extension. And it's a fact that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre wanted the Green Bay Packers to trade for him in 2007.

But the rest is pie-in-the-sky hopes and dreams. The big issue the Vikings face in dealing for any receiver, be it Moss or San Diego's Vincent Jackson or someone else, is the delicate financial situation they would be in.

Both Moss and Jackson are going to want new contracts. Rice wants a new contract as well, and to this point the Vikings have been unwilling. So do you make a trade for Moss or Jackson, giving them a new deal to ensure tranquility, and then tell Rice to just keep working hard when he returns? That's probably easier said than done.

I do think that most of the facts that led to Moss' departure from Minnesota have dissipated. The organization has changed inside and out, from the owner to the coaching staff to the quarterback. But as of now, it just doesn't seem like a realistic possibility.

Allen of Fishers, Ind., writes: I keep seeing all these posts about Todd Collins and becoming the backup QB for the Bears. Some articles even talk about Dan LeFevour and how he could be the odd man out, but none are even mentioning anything about Matt Gutierrez. The Bears' website shows he's still on the roster but he isn't listed on the depth chart. Do you know the scoop on him? Is he still there? Where does he stand?

Kevin Seifert: Here's there, but the die is pretty much cast. The Bears guaranteed Collins a six-figure bonus to sign a contract this week. He gets that money whether he makes the team or not, so I think most of us agree that he is really going to have to flop not to make the team. There is no way the Bears are looking to throw away a dime, let alone $100,000.

I think they liked Caleb Hanie and planned for him to be Jay Cutler's backup, but Hanie's shoulder injury put them in a situation that was too risky. They needed an experienced and healthy backup behind Cutler.

Sam of Buffalo, Minn., writes: I am extremely happy you are no longer fully covering the Vikings. Even when you were here I thought you to be a little weezle of a man who thought he was so clever in how he rights.

Kevin Seifert: Yep, you got me. I'll make sure to share your insight with my friend Weezy on our way to the Weezer concert.

Andy of Chicago writes: I was wondering ... Chad Clifton, Mark Tauscher, and the Bryan Bulaga/Daryn Colledge left guard competition seem to get most of the discussion in the press. What about Josh Sitton and Scott Wells? Is it a good thing that we don't seem to hear much about them?

Kevin Seifert: Absolutely. Sitton was probably the Packers' most consistent lineman last season and has picked up this summer where he left off. Wells, meanwhile, has had a remarkable career turnaround. Remember last year at this time? He was about to lose his starting job to Jason Spitz. Now, there seems no question that Wells is the Packers' long-term center. That's quite a career turnaround.

Kyle of Southern Michigan writes: Some interesting developments this week. Getting anxious that the strength of the Lions D-line & the possible weakness of the Bears.

Kevin Seifert: I'm guessing you're a Lions fan, making your anxiety a positive thing. But I would imagine Bears fans are a bit anxious about this Week 1 matchup as well. We've still got two weeks to go here, but at this point, the Lions-Bears opener has the feeling of a wild game.

You're right. The Bears have struggled to bring their offensive line together this summer, and the Lions' defensive line has played as well as advertised in the preseason. Put those two together, throw in some typical Week 1 craziness, and you've got the possibility of the Lions stealing a game on the road to start the season. We'll hit this theme a number of times over the next few weeks. For now, we're just planting some seeds. Maybe we'll call it the Anxiety Bowl.