We're Black and Blue All Over:
Friday night's agreement between the St. Louis Rams and quarterback Sam Bradford sets some parameters for the Detroit Lions' negotiations with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. And here an interesting question: After Bradford received $50 million guaranteed, will the Lions now have to pay Suh -- the No. 2 overall pick of the draft -- more than they paid quarterback Matthew Stafford when they made him the No. 1 overall pick last season?
Remember, Stafford received $41.7 million in a deal that broke new ground for rookie contracts. Bradford raised that total by almost 17 percent. On the other side of the bracket, the Washington Redskins gave offensive tackle Trent Williams -- the No. 4 overall pick -- $36.75 million in guarantees.
So will those figures push Suh past $41.7 million in guarantees? It's an interesting question from a league perspective as we watch contracts for top-drafted players continue to spiral out of control. Suh, meanwhile, appears set to miss the Lions' opening practice of training camp later Saturday. We'll keep you updated.
Continuing around the NFC North on a rainy morning from Bourbonnais, Ill.:
Lions coach Jim Schwartz believes the team has improved at quarterback more than any other position "because Matt Stafford went through an entire off-season," reports Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy wants his team to take the next step, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
The Packers believe their special teams group is further along than last year at this time, according to Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel questions whether the Packers should have signed a veteran linebacker in the offseason.
Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf referred to Brett Favre as "the starting quarterback of our team," in an interview with the Star Tribune. It's about time someone told the truth.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com considers the possibility that the Vikings will trade quarterback Sage Rosenfels.
Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers hasn't set any individual sack goals for his first season with the team, writes Melissa Isaacson of ESPNChicago.com.
The match between Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and offensive coordinator Mike Martz is proving to be a good one so far, writes Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Bears defensive linemen Mark Anderson and Marcus Harrison have tattoos to honor the memory of former teammate Gaines Adams, who died in the offseason. Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune has more.