We're Black and Blue All Over:
PHOENIX -- The Detroit Lions drafted a left tackle in the first round of the 2012 draft. In 2013, their longtime left tackle retired. But it's apparently not as simple as connecting the dots between the retirement of Jeff Backus and the presumed ascendance of Riley Reiff at the position.
Speaking to Detroit-area reporters at the NFL owners meeting, general manager Martin Mayhew said "I could see [Reiff] at left tackle" this season but left open the possibility he could play another position as well. Mayhew also touted inexperienced backups Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard as promising, and noted that Reiff can play several positions.
Your best left tackle on the roster should play the position, even if he can also play guard. It's much easier to find a guard than a left tackle, generally speaking. The Lions' indecision on Reiff's position could indicate mixed beliefs on his attitude as a long-term left tackle.
On the other hand, Mayhew might simply not want to telegraph his draft strategy at No. 5 overall. If he names Reiff the starter, it probably rules out the possibility that he would draft a left tackle in the first round.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Lions' pursuit of big-time free agents is over, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Running back Jahvid Best could spend 2013 on the Lions' physically unable to perform list, notes Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
Lions receiver Calvin Johnson restructured his contract and saved the team $3.4 million against the 2013 salary cap, notes Brian McIntyre of Yahoo's Shutdown Corner blog.
The Chicago Bears have completely revamped their leadership roles over the past three years. Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune explains.
Linebacker Brian Urlacher will need to take a massive pay cut to remain with the Bears, writes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Bears are pursuing free agent tight end Steve Maneri, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has details of the pay cut Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk took last week. In essence, he will earn $7.25 million less than he was scheduled to over the next three seasons.
Receiver Greg Jennings spoke with retired quarterback Brett Favre before leaving the Packers and signing with the Minnesota Vikings, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette outlines some offseason changes underway in Green Bay.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier is upbeat about his team's offseason, writes Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune.
Vikings ownership has high expectations for Frazier, notes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.