We're Black and Blue All Over:
On Tuesday, we downplayed the individual impact of three incidents Detroit Lions players have had with marijuana in the past three months. They are mostly misdemeanors and aren't likely to have lasting consequences from a legal perspective. If anything, they seem more significant when bunched together as a reflection of the organization.
Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press takes a different tack, writing the Lions should release defensive tackle Nick Fairley and running back Mikel Leshoure. They don't need "another ticking time bomb," Sharp writes. He adds: "Just because marijuana usage is perceived as more casual than other drugs doesn't mean the punitive measures should be equally nonchalant."
The timing of these incidents, which also include offensive lineman Johnny Culbreath, suggests the Lions will have to create a more effective internal deterrent. But parting ways with these players would be an awfully harsh, and probably unrealistic, punishment. I think Sharp was trying to snap people out of downplaying the significance of NFL players using marijuana, and the message was heard.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News: "The arrests have put a cloud over what has been a mostly optimistic and promising offseason for the Lions."
Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher wants to finish his career with the team, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Bears were happy to see the "GSH" on their jerseys be restored to its original size in the Nike uniform change, chairman George McCaskey told the Sun-Times.
Bears general manager Phil Emery, coach Lovie Smith and receivers coach Darryl Drake were all at Notre Dame's pro day on Tuesday to see receiver Michael Floyd. Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune has more.
An exact date for a meeting between the Green Bay Packers and safety Nick Collins has not been set, according to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. It is expected sometime next week.
Packers tight end Jermichael Finley likes the gloves he can wear as part of the new Nike uniform, reveals Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports.
Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com wonders if the Minnesota Vikings have put coach Leslie Frazier in a spot to fail, and risk being fired, in 2012. Their offseason hasn't exactly given them a personnel jump that would allow them to improve dramatically off a 3-13 performance.
The Vikings haven't been their usual selves off the field lately, writes Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has started running during his knee rehabilitation, notes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The Vikings are hosting all of their 30 draft-eligible visits this week, notes Mark Craig of the Star Tribune.