We're Black and Blue All Over:
A day after former New Orleans Saints defensive linemen Anthony Hargrove denied he was motivated by a bounty in the 2009 NFC Championship Game, a former Green Bay Packers linebacker has spoken out strongly against the idea of bounties as well.
Brady Poppinga, who spent last season with the St. Louis Rams, told Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com that the story has painted too many players with a broad brush.
Poppinga: "I just can't sit there and be silent. I look at this as an opportunity to share with the public that we, as football players, are not barbaric and out to try and destroy everything in our path. Football is my profession and I take it seriously. It's an art form. It's technical, strategic and takes a lot of intelligence to play. When this came out, it started to confirm the idea that football guys are idiots. That's not who we are. Ninety-five percent of the guys are very intelligent. It's just guys who love to go out and play a physical game."
The Rams' defensive coordinator, of course, is now Gregg Williams -- the same man accused of organizing the Saints' bounty system. I'm guessing Poppinga won't be playing for Williams in 2012, and I'm guessing he would be fine with that.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel doesn't think Packers general manager Ted Thompson will be active in free agency.
Three people testified Thursday that the girlfriend of Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook complained that he strangled her during a domestic incident in October. The woman has since recanted her story, according to David Hanners of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Legislation for the Vikings' stadium proposal has been written, according to Mike Kaszuba of the Star Tribune.
It was surprising to hear Vikings coach Leslie Frazier speak of Cedric Griffin's possible future with the team, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press considers South Carolina cornerback Stephen Gilmore as a possible Detroit Lions draft pick.
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News looks at the Lions' salary-cap issues.
The Free Press offers a photo gallery of secondary players the Lions could pursue in free agency.
The family of former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, who committed suicide last year, has settled his bankruptcy case. Jared S. Hopkins of the Chicago Tribune has more.