- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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We're Black and Blue All Over:
We have more overnight news in the NFC North's free agency frenzy. Former Chicago Bears linebacker Nick Roach agreed to terms with the Oakland Raiders, leaving the Bears without a versatile player who has been a starter -- at two different positions -- for most of the past five years.
Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com has the details. Bears general manager Phil Emery said this week that the Bears were up against the salary cap, and the Bears were either unable to match the Raiders' offer to Roach or unwilling to make the necessary adjustments. That means the Bears will have at least one significant change among their starting linebackers in 2013, and it could be two if veteran Brian Urlacher does not return.
There are no obvious replacements on the roster at strongside linebacker, Roach's primary position. The Bears will need to find a cheap starter in free agency or else look to the draft. Although he typically came off the field on third downs, Roach still played 66 percent of the Bears' snaps last season, because he also filled in for an injured Urlacher in the middle.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Bears could face competition for backup quarterback Jason Campbell, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
The Bears re-signed defensive tackle Nate Collins to a one-year deal, notes Dickerson for ESPNChicago.com.
Bears free agent guard Lance Louis visited the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, the team announced.
Free agent receiver Greg Jennings brought his wife with him to the Minnesota Vikings' recruiting dinner Thursday night, according to Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press thinks Matt Cassel might be overqualified for the Vikings' backup quarterback position.
The Vikings lost middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley to the Arizona Cardinals, notes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. The Vikings will probably replace him in the draft.
Signing free agent running back Steven Jackson was not in the Green Bay Packers' budget, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Packers will probably have to turn to the draft to find a primary runner, according to Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford referred to retiring left tackle Jeff Backus as "a warrior," according to Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News.
Lions center Dominic Raiola on Backus, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "Just a model of consistency. My rule with Jeff is you don't talk to him until he talks to you. Or if 10:30 hits, you can talk to him. But he was just very businesslike. He always had his things together, he always had his priorities right, he always had everything right in line, and that's how he liked it. He was very simple. The way he did things then, there's not much change."
Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com has a full breakdown of safety Glover Quin's contract with the Lions. It's a five-year deal worth $23.5 million.