We're Black and Blue All Over:
We're down to five unsigned draft choices here in the NFC North after the Chicago Bears wrapped up contracts for their 2013 class over the weekend. First-round draft pick Kyle Long agreed to terms on a four-year deal, with a team option for a fifth, a move that gets 30 of this division's 35 draft picks under contract.
Those unsigned include four first-round picks and one second-rounder. They include the Minnesota Vikings' Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson; and the Green Bay Packers' Datone Jones and Eddie Lacy.
Unsigned draft choices are free to participate in offseason programs and in essence have until the start of training camp before their contracts become an issue.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Bears fans should realize their team is in the same boat with backup quarterback Josh McCown as most of the NFL, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune. Pompei: "As quarterback play has become more important, the notion of a backup superhero has become increasingly quaint. There are more desirable ones than McCown, certainly. But not many."
Former Bears coach Mike Ditka checks in with the Chicago Sun-Times on Jay Cutler's football IQ and other issues.
Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch said that former Lions receiver Titus Young confided in him about mental illness. Tulloch would not specify Young's issues, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
The Lions' upcoming organized team activities should begin to answer the team's questions, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Free-agent defensive back Charles Woodson isn't opposed to playing for the Lions, notes Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com. The question is to what extent the Lions would have interest.
Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop is pledging to be "110 percent" by the time training camp begins, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Bishop is still recovering from a torn hamstring muscle suffered last summer.
Packers Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr, via Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "The greatest mistake I made in my life was to coach. It's a great lesson that could apply to any of us. Because I didn't plan to, I hadn't prepared to. And I didn't have the guts to say to the Green Bay Packers, 'Thank you, but no thank you. I'm not going to do it.' I wasn't prepared, and it showed over the first few years. I felt very, very badly about that."
Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette on rookie Packers running backs Lacy and Johnathan Franklin: "It’s entirely possible both will be used extensively this season and complement each other while giving Aaron Rodgers and his receivers some room to breathe."
Vikings cornerback Chris Cook says he is ready to handle opponents' top receivers. Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com has more.
Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson was part of a journalism boot camp earlier this month, writes Mark Craig of the Star Tribune.
Neighbors of the new Vikings stadium have mixed reviews, writes Richard Meryhew of the Star Tribune.