We're Black and Blue All Over:
NFL franchise players saw a little movement over the weekend when the Denver Broncos agreed to a five-year contract worth $52.5 million with offensive lineman Ryan Clady. But if there was any progress on a long-term deal between the Chicago Bears and defensive tackle Henry Melton, it has been kept solidly out of the public view.
The sides have until 4 p.m. ET Monday to come to an agreement. If they do not, Melton will play the season under the terms of a one-year, $8.45 million contract.
We should be careful not to view that outcome as a failure. NFL thought has evolved over the years, especially at positions like defensive tackle where the franchise tag figure isn't onerous, and more teams are letting players go year-to-year. The Bears have a new coaching staff and appear set to have quarterback Jay Cutler go through the season in a contract year. So it shouldn't be surprising if they do the same for a pass-rushing interior tackle.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Bears did come to an agreement with tailback Matt Forte last year at the last minute, as Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times notes.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune profiles the Bears' new receivers coach, Mike Groh.
This is a make-or-break year for Cutler, writes Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford thinks receiver Calvin Johnson can break his NFL record for receiving yards in a season, via the Detroit Free Press.
The Detroit Free Press has details on the outcome of Lions defensive end Ronnell Lewis' legal situation in Norman, Okla.
Receiver Jordy Nelson is the Green Bay Packers' 12th-most important player in 2013, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel profiles Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy, who is still searching for happiness after his family was displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Packers defensive rookies led 2012 playoff teams in snaps played, according to Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Mike Wobschall of Vikings.com sits down with Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson to discuss starter Christian Ponder.