We're Black and Blue All Over:
Good early morning. Since our Tuesday-night signoff, the Donovan McNabb-Minnesota Vikings reports have strengthened. ESPN's John Clayton reported a trade is contingent on McNabb restructuring his contract, a move he would be wise to accept if he truly wants to play for the Vikings in 2011.
It seems we'll get resolution one way or the other on Wednesday. If the deal isn't going to work out, the Vikings will need to move on in order to grab another veteran quarterback before they are all signed elsewhere.
On Tuesday, I suggested McNabb would be an acceptable backup for the Vikings but questioned whether bringing him in as a short-term starter was the smartest move. I'm still working to get my head around this one. From what I can see via Twitter and the mailbag, you appear to be split in your views. Some of you don't want to see another in a series of Band-Aid moves the Vikings have employed, really, since Daunte Culpepper's 2005 knee injury. Others believe having McNabb is better than not having him.
At this point, all that matters is what the Vikings think. And it appears they want him and aren't enthused about the idea of starting rookie quarterback Christian Ponder in Week 1.
Continuing around the NFC North:
McNabb would have to accept a mentorship role to Ponder in order for this deal to work, writes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com: "If completed, the deal would send a strong message to a veteran-laden locker room and several key free agents the Vikings intend to be contenders now, rather than suffering through growing pains with a young quarterback."
Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Despite drafting quarterback Christian Ponder with the 12th overall pick, the Vikings apparently find themselves in 2009 mode all over again, searching for an aging quarterback to provide a short-term solution."
Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo faces pressure this week, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.
Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times: "There's plenty working in the Bears' favor. They have salary-cap space, they're the defending NFC North champs and they have a coaching staff and a roster that are largely unchanged."
The Bears remain in close contact with free-agent linebacker Justin Durant, according to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
The Detroit Lions will re-sign place-kicker Dave Rayner to compete with veteran Jason Hanson, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
The Lions believe they are a playoff team, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
Iowa punter Ryan Donahue signed with the Lions and will give incumbent Nick Harris a strong training camp battle, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley: "He has the potential to become the finest player at his position in the National Football League. He also has the potential to become a divisive force if his desire for the ball and a lucrative new contract clash with team goals."
The Packers are unlikely to be able to trade linebacker Nick Barnett and ultimately will release him, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Free-agent place-kicker Mason Crosby didn't hear from the Packers on Tuesday but isn't concerned, according to the Press-Gazette.