Black and Blue all over: Pace done

It was only a matter of time before Chicago released left tackle Orlando Pace, who lost his starting job at the end of last season and appears headed for retirement.

After several years of injury-shortened seasons, Pace was nowhere close to his former self in the 11 games he started for the Bears. Chris Williams will resume his role as the starting left tackle in 2010.

The Bears signed Pace on the same day they traded for quarterback Jay Cutler, a euphoric day in franchise history. Ultimately, Pace couldn't give the Bears what they were hoping for: A one-year bridge to Williams' eventual transition.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • Bears general manager Jerry Angelo doesn't think he'll be able to trade up into the first two rounds of the 2010 draft, he said during an interview with the Bears' Web site.

  • Jason La Canfora of NFL.com: "The Lions had spoken with the Chargers over the weekend about a possible trade for former first-round pick Antonio Cromartie. But, despite needing help in its secondary, Detroit is unlikely to consummate a deal when the league year begins March 5."

  • Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com writes it is "highly unlikely" the trade will be made.

  • One reason talks might not have progressed, according to John Niyo of the Detroit News: The Chargers might be asking for running back Maurice Morris in addition to a draft pick.

  • Green Bay plans to use its original-round tender on cornerback Will Blackmon, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.

  • The Packers plan to bring back left guard Daryn Colledge, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, but he will face some competition for his starting job.

  • One suitor for Minnesota tailback Chester Taylor could be the Bears, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.