We're Black and Blue All Over:
Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier's appearance this week on ESPN 1500 in the Twin Cities provided two points of interest.
First, Frazier confirmed that receiver Percy Harvin returned to the team's practice facility recently for a postseason exit physical. Frazier said Harvin was "cleared" from an ankle sprain that ended his season and that "all the medicals were good."
Second, Frazier indicated that he and Harvin had an in-depth conversation, no doubt covering some of the behind-the-scenes issues that seemed to arise after Harvin's injury.
"We definitely had to talk just in general about a lot of things," Frazier said. We had a good conversation. We talked, and it was good conversation. So, hopefully, everything will work out."
That, of course, stops well short of suggesting the Vikings are prepared to offer Harvin a contract extension that would alleviate some of the previous tension between him and the team. Harvin has one year remaining on his deal. You wonder if he will participate in the Vikings' offseason program if he is unsigned. I'm guessing this will be a story we'll be monitoring for months.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The retirement ceremony of Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver will take place at 11 a.m. Green Bay time (noon ET) and will be streamed on the Packers' website.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is set to participate in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Brett Favre on his joint appearance with Rodgers last weekend, via Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "It wasn't awkward. We had some laughs about it prior to going out. Aaron has up to this point an unbelievable career. That goes without saying. You know, I'm proud of what I've done. There is no ill feelings. There isn't. There might be from other people."
The agent for Packers defensive back Charles Woodson, Kevin Poston, on the Packers' upcoming decision, via Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "I guess the Packers have to make a decision. Is having Charles out there worth $11 million a year? I would think so because he's one of the better defensive players. He's not what he was but he's much more valuable than most defensive players, period."
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News: "The housekeeping has begun for the [Detroit] Lions."
Defensive lineman Kyle Vanden Bosch on being released by the Lions, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "I had a good opportunity to talk to everybody and kind of said my good-byes. It was OK. I understood the decision. From the first day I was with the Lions, I was treated with nothing but respect by starting with the Ford family and then my coaches and my teammates. I knew if I’m finished playing football, I always prepared and played as hard as I could so that when I would be finished I had no regrets. And if I don't get an opportunity to play again in the NFL, I'm very happy about my career, my years in Detroit and really just the relationships that I developed."
Justin Rogers of Mlive.com has some Twitter reaction from Lions players to the release of Vanden Bosch.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune takes a deeper look at the Chicago Bears' defensive line.
Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com looks at the free-agent defensive tackles available to the Bears.
Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times wonders if Bears quarterback Jay Cutler deserves to be on a list of most-disliked NFL players.