We'll get more into the strategy of protecting restricted free agents next week, but I thought Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette made a good point Friday about the complexity of the Packers' decision as it relates to defensive lineman Johnny Jolly.
Jolly has had a felony drug charge hanging over him for a year and a half, and on Thursday his trial was pushed back to March 8. That's after the deadline for offering him a contract tender, meaning the Packers will have to make a decision without knowing whether he will be found guilty and therefore suspended for part of the 2010 season.
In order to protect him from signing somewhere else, Dougherty suggests, the Packers will have to offer him a deal worth $1.759 million. That level requires a team to give up a second-round draft pick in order to acquire him, but it's a high salary for someone who could be suspended.
Jolly's trial is now scheduled to start March 8.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com suggests some potential draft picks who could help fill some of the Bears' needs.
Detroit could be in position to draft a high-caliber cornerback with its second-round draft pick, the No. 34 overall pick, writes Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News.
The Lions claimed linebacker Ashlee Palmer on waivers from Buffalo, notes Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press.
Minnesota vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman believes the 2010 draft will be deep because of an influx of talented underclassmen, writes Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.