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BBAO: Lions agree with LB Justin Durant

7/28/2011

We're Black and Blue All Over:

I turned away from the computer for a few hours, coinciding with the night time ritual known as catching a few winks, and it looks like I've missed some important NFC North news. Here's the biggest:

The Detroit Lions have agreed to terms with free-agent linebacker Justin Durant, once thought to be a target of the Chicago Bears, according to ESPN's John Clayton. Durant has also posted some Lions-centric tweets overnight, including: "So the DLine is called the Silver Crush huh? Ok I can get with that"

Yes, any linebacker signing with the Lions will have the benefit of a strong defensive line to keep blockers away from him. Durant had a tough time staying on the field with the Jacksonville Jaguars and missed six games last season, but he is a strong player who will fill an obvious need on the outside if he can stay healthy.

The Lions have also pursued free-agent linebacker Stephen Tulloch. No word yet on Tulloch's decision. But for now, at least, Durant's arrival will keep DeAndre Levy in the middle of the Lions' 4-3 scheme.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News on the Lions: "Oh, there will be ample time for skepticism. For now, go ahead and buy in with the Lions. You certainly wouldn't be the only one."

  • Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press: "People are actually excited about the Lions this year, and not just in the usual, delusional, 'Hey, maybe if those 17 guys who have always stunk suddenly get good, we can go .500!' sort of way. The Lions have a plan. They have talent. They have ... hope."

  • Are the Chicago Bears trying to trade tight end Greg Olsen? Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that agent Drew Rosenhaus sent a mass email to NFL executives indicating just that but later asked the email to be ignored.

  • A market is developing for Bears receiver/special-teams ace Rashied Davis, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.

  • The Green Bay Packers have told guard Daryn Colledge "they have no interest in my services at a high price," Colledge told Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. This is no surprise. For whatever reason, the Packers have never appeared interested in locking up Colledge for the long term.

  • Packers receiver Donald Driver is going to have to prove himself all over again this summer, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

  • Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette examines the Packers' looming competition at outside linebacker.

  • Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com digs into the hip surgery that seemed to end receiver Sidney Rice's career with the Minnesota Vikings.

  • Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Donovan McNabb is washed up, and it's a waste of money and a roster spot to trade for him. That is one way to look at the acquisition of the 34-year-old quarterback the Washington Redskins no longer wanted. Apparently, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier sees it differently."

  • Former Vikings coach Brad Childress, who coached McNabb in Philadelphia, believes McNabb will give teams "hell to pay" because he will have a chip on his shoulder with the Vikings. Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune has more.