As promised, we're going to take a moment on the eve of the NFL scouting combine to catch up on a week's worth of news, mostly so I can get my two cents on the record. We'll follow a Quick Hit format:
Comment: This was a business decision that seemed unavoidable for the Packers. As we discussed, NFL teams rarely dedicate the kind of cap space ($10 million) that Woodson was set to consume at his age (37 in October). It was not a coincidence that the Packers used a second-round draft pick last year on cornerback Casey Hayward and a fourth-rounder on safety Jerron McMillian. They could fill Woodson's roles in 2013.
Comment: In releasing Saturday and Woodson, the Packers cleared nearly $14 million in salary cap space for 2013.
Item: Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman acknowledged he had a "30-40 minute" telephone conversation with linebacker Brian Urlacher but wouldn't say whether the team plans to re-sign the pending free agent.
Comment: It's hard to know what, if anything, to read into Trestman's revelation. Was he expressing interest in bringing back Urlacher? Picking his brain on personnel and scheme? Just getting to know him? I do think we can say the Bears have played this cautiously. Urlacher has put his cards on the table. He has said he wants to return and that he will take a pay cut to do it. But do the Bears want him back? They have not provided that answer with free agency now less than three weeks away.
Comment: Raiola will anchor what could be a transition year for the Lions' offensive line. Right guard Stephen Peterman has already been released and right tackle Gosder Cherilus could depart via free agency.
Comment: There is a reason the NFL has become a 12-month industry. It knows how to spread out the news. If the Vikings do announce a uniform change, it probably wouldn't come until closer to the draft.
Item: The Vikings almost certainly will play all of the 2014 and 2015 seasons at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank stadium.
Comment: The team had hoped to play most of its 2014 season at the Metrodome during nearby construction of their new stadium, which will open in 2016. But that would have made for a disjointed season, and now Minnesotans will get a full two years to experience outdoor football -- for better or worse.