We're Black and Blue All Over:
Good morning and Happy March!
As you might have heard Thursday evening, the NFL's 2013 salary cap number -- the total each team can spend for the year -- will be $123 million. That's a bit higher than most prognosticators had estimated, but it's not enough of an increase to change whatever strategy NFC North teams have put into place for a new league year that begins in less than two weeks.
I'll have updated cap numbers for each team as soon as I can reliably track them down, but I'm expecting the Green Bay Packers to have the most space in the division and the Detroit Lions to have the least. Space isn't necessarily indicative of potential activity on the free agent market, and there could be more changes through restructures and adjustments over the coming days.
While we have a moment, let's take a quick spin around the division:
The Green Bay Press-Gazette estimates the Packers' cap space at $21 million.
Extra space or not, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "it's hard to imagine" the Packers not having new contract agreements with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews before the start of the 2013 season.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com estimates the Minnesota Vikings' cap space at about $14.2 million.
Revenues from electronic gambling, the primary source of public funding for the Vikings' new stadium, are about $15 million short of projections, according to the Star Tribune.
Vikings punter Chris Kluwe joined Baltimore Ravens special teams player Brendon Ayanbadejo in writing an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in favor of same-sex marriage. ESPN.com's Jane McManus has more.
Re-signing cornerback Chris Houston is a priority for the Detroit Lions, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
The Lions aren't close to a deal with quarterback Matthew Stafford, and as Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com points out, Stafford has no reason to rush negotiations.
Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times looks at the Chicago Bears' options for creating more salary cap space.
Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune offers measured support for the Bears drafting linebacker Manti Te'o.