We're Black and Blue All Over:
Lost in a busy Wednesday of Minnesota Vikings stadium news and Adrian Peterson's impromptu workout was the first public statement from Green Bay Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove since a declaration he signed about the New Orleans Saints' bounty program was leaked. Here's the full statement:
"I'm disappointed that 'the Declaration' was leaked. The intent of 'the Declaration' was to let the NFL know exactly what happened in March of 2010. Call me naive, but I did not expect them to publicize the fact that I had sent them 'the Declaration.' But since they did, and because they grossly mischaracterized my words, it obviously became a hot item and subsequently was leaked by someone. I do not know who leaked it, but I would have preferred for it to remain private between the NFL and me."
The key words in the statement, as far as I'm concerned, are "grossly mischaracterized." As we have noted, Hargrove revealed in the original declaration only that he was instructed by Saints assistant coaches to deny the existence of a bounty program. The NFL's announcement on Hargrove claimed the declaration "established not only the existence of the program at the Saints, but also that he knew about and participated in it."
I think that leap -- taking an admission of denying existence to mean a confirmation of participation -- is what Hargrove is referring to by "grossly mischaracterized." Hargrove, along with the three other suspended players, are appealing the discipline.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel offers an unofficial Packers depth chart for the 2012 season, including a suggestion that Alex Green will be the No. 2 tailback behind James Starks.
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette doesn't think the Packers will keep receiver Donald Driver in 2012.
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com has coverage on the resolution to make 12-12-12 "Aaron Rodgers Day" in the state of Wisconsin.
The Chicago Bears had signed four of their draft choices by the end of Wednesday, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
Bears backup quarterback Josh McCown recently worked out with and threw to rookie receiver Alshon Jeffery in South Carolina, notes Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune on the 2012 Bears: "If the Bears stay away from catastrophic injuries, and the coaches push the right buttons, I think they are going to make Bears fans happy."
Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times profiles Bears rookie Shea McClellin.
The Detroit Lions agreed to terms with seventh-round draft pick Travis Lewis, according to Tim Twentyman of the Lions' website.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press profiles rookie quarterback Kellen Moore.
In this video, Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman takes credit for the recent success of the Minnesota Vikings' stadium bill. Next stop: The St. Paul Saints.
It was important for Peterson to get past the third month of his injury rehabilitation without a setback, according to Mark Craig of the Star Tribune.
Peterson on the NFL's punishment of the New Orleans Saints, their coaches and players for the bounty program, via Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com: "I bet it don't happen again. Hey, I feel for those guys, [Jonathan] Vilma and Will Smith and those guys that got punished and I don't wish them [bad] at all. To be honest, that was my first thought. I thought, well, I'm sure guys will think twice about doing this again. It was unfortunate, but, hey, it happened. It is what it is."