We're Black and Blue All Over:
Reactions to the Green Bay Packers' record-setting operating profit of $42.7 million, announced Tuesday, have been interesting.
Off the top, it's worth noting that the profit was calculated separately from the $64 million raised through a stock sale this winter. That money is required to be used for renovations currently underway at Lambeau Field. As we discussed at the time, the stock sale essentially took the place of public fees revenues that NFL teams normally seek in such situations.
Then, of course, there is the football side of the equation. As ESPN business analyst Andrew Brandt noted, those unprecedented revenues and profits will be a bargaining chip for agents of players seeking contract extensions. While the salary cap will always limit the Packers' ability to spend money, there is still a difference between what a high-revenue team might spend on its roster in pure cash terms and what a low-revenue team could spend.
Good luck to general manager Ted Thompson and his contract negotiator, Russ Ball.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Cornerback Sam Shields is the 15th-most important player on the Packers, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at five fresh faces that could help the Packers' defense in 2012.
The Minnesota Vikings were one of the teams that scouted Baylor receiver Josh Gordon on Tuesday at his pro day, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. Gordon is eligible for Thursday's supplemental draft.
Vikings executive Lester Bagley received the Public Policy Achievement (Sports) Award Tuesday as part of the Twin Cities' Leaders in Public Policy 2012 program. Bagley was the team's point man on its stadium drive.
Chicago Bears training camp is right around the corner, notes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Biggs offers five storylines heading into camp, leading with Matt Forte's contract.
ESPNChicago.com goes inside the numbers on the Bears' 2011 season.
It's time to start watching the record books when it comes to Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, writes Zac Snyder for the Detroit Free Press.
Justin Rogers of Mlive.com has a transcript of Lions defensive end Cliff Avril's appearance Tuesday on SiriusXM NFL radio.