We're Black and Blue All Over:
The Chicago Bears will become the first NFC North team on the field this offseason when a voluntary three-day minicamp begins Tuesday at Halas Hall. The team is scheduled for three two-hour practices, one a day through Thursday, to give new coach Marc Trestman and his staff a preview of the roster before the draft takes place next week.
Under NFL rules, new coaches are permitted this second minicamp, in addition to the traditional mandatory one that the Bears will hold June 11-13. Trestman told the Bears' website that the practices will be "a hard-working environment, but a tempered environment being that they're really not in training camp condition and we want to be very mindful of their safety over the three days."
Coaches plan to lay a "foundation" of the team's new schemes in anticipation of organized team activities (OTAs) that begin May 13, Trestman said. If nothing else, this week's camp will allow team officials to make a more informed judgment about roster needs before the draft and college free agency.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times previews the minicamp.
Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune on the contract situation of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler: "I will say I think he needs to play better than he has played in any season since he’s been in Chicago in order to get the kind of deal from the Bears that he undoubtedly wants."
Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com previews the center position in the draft from the Bears' perspective.
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel offers a breakdown of receiver Sederrick Cunningham, a street free agent the Green Bay Packers have signed.
It might be time for the Packers to re-stock on depth at receiver, according to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Jean Hopfensperger of the Star Tribune: "The first electronic bingo games aimed at helping to fund the Vikings stadium have hit a technical glitch and will be shut down until the problem is fixed, according to a report at the Minnesota’s Gambling Control Board meeting Monday."
Mark Craig of the Star Tribune previews the draft's offensive lineman from the Minnesota Vikings' perspective.
The Detroit Lions signed or re-signed seven of their own players Monday to ensure participation in their offseason program. Included in that group were receiver Brian Robiskie, defensive end Willie Young and offensive lineman Jason Fox. Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com has more.
Michigan State defensive end William Gholston is an intriguing prospect to the Lions, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press profiles British Olympian Lawrence Okoye, who is draft eligible and hoping to get a chance in the NFL this year.