We're Black and Blue All Over:
Green Bay Packers tailback Ryan Grant has a $1 million roster bonus due on the 15th day of the new league year, whenever that begins, reports Adam Caplan of Fox Sports. The question is whether that figure will give the team any pause about bringing back the 28-year old running back who missed 15 games last season because of an ankle injury.
The postseason emergence of James Starks gives the Packers an option, but to me, if the Packers learned anything as a result of Grant's injury, it was the value of entering a season with two legitimate running threats. One of the biggest hurdles of the Packers' season was finding a combination to replace Grant, and in truth they weren't successful until Starks exploded for 123 yards in the wild-card playoff victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
According to Caplan's numbers, Grant would earn $5.25 million if he plays in 16 games of the 2011 season. That's not a small total, but based on what we witnessed last season, it would be money well-spent for the Packers.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Radio station WKZO, via the Green Bay Press-Gazette, has video of Greg Jennings Day in Kalamazoo, Mich.
From Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune: "Vikings cornerback Chris Cook has a March 21 preliminary hearing on a misdemeanor charge of brandishing a firearm in his hometown of Lynchburg, Va."
It's possible that a Vikings stadium bill could be introduced to the Minnesota state legislature this week, according to Mike Kaszuba of the Star Tribune.
As promised, Detroit Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch led two sets of players through private workouts Monday on the first full day of the NFL lockout. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press was there.
Colorado's former defensive backs coach said some nice things about Buffaloes cornerback Jimmy Smith, a candidate for the Lions to draft at No. 13 overall. More from Birkett.
Chicago Bears guard Roberto Garza on the state of the team's line, via George Vondracek of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times: "Anytime you give up more than 55 sacks a year obviously there are some changes that are going to have to take place, and we're ready for that. Obviously, my job's going to be up for grabs. So I have to go out there and prove to them that I'm going to continue to be the starting right guard."
A deal is in the works for "Madden 12" to play games at a virtual Soldier Field, according to Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.