In taking a week off midway through July, I missed minicamps in Detroit and Chicago along with a few other news stories, all of which served as another reminder that the NFL has become a 12-month affair. So let's roll through some of those items to get some thoughts on the record as we enter the semi-abyss of the NFL summer:
Comment: Whether his poor play was due to sub-par skills or a knee injury he suffered in the second game of his rookie season, Carimi qualifies as one of the biggest busts in recent NFC North memory. Of course, it's a lot easier for a team to accept and act on that conclusion when the general manager and coach who drafted him are no longer employed. Current general manager Phil Emery and Marc Trestman had no connection to Carimi and thus weren't bound by anything other than a strict and objective evaluation.
Comment: It's a bit of a roster luxury to carry a return specialist, as the Bears apparently now view Hester. But if he is anywhere close to his prime, Hester is worth the roster spot. A handful of key returns can make a huge impact on winning percentage. In fact, the Bears are 15-4 in games he has at least one touchdown return.
Comment: Bishop did not participate at all in the offseason program as he continued rehabilitating a torn hamstring muscle suffered last August. I suppose it's possible that he would agree to a restructured contract, but the deals the Packers gave Brad Jones and A.J. Hawk this offseason previewed their intentions. As we discussed last month, it's hard to imagine the Packers keeping three highly paid inside linebackers on their roster.
Comment: It's always been a matter of when, not if, Favre re-joined the Packers family.
Comment: The right tackle and right guard positions were wide open during spring practices, and that approach could very well continue into training camp. The Lions will have at least three new starters on the offensive line.
Comment: Slay, who missed earlier workouts because of post-draft knee surgery, made a series of interceptions. Given the Lions' problems in the secondary in recent years, Slay will be among the most watched newcomers at training camp.
Comment: Coach Jim Schwartz preached patience, mostly for Delmas but a little for fans and the media. But it's hard to ignore what this layoff means for Delmas' long-term future. The knees made him a part-time player last season, he signed an incentive-laden contract based on playing time in the offseason and he will have needed at least a six-month break this spring and summer to prepare for training camp. That's a lot of downtime for a 26-year-old player.
Item: Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway had arthroscopic knee surgery and isn't expected to participate in minicamp this week.
Comment: By all accounts, the surgery was minor and Greenway will be ready to participate fully when training camp opens.