Black and Blue all over: Orton next?
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers' contract extension will help set the groundwork for another NFC North quarterback who seems on the verge of cashing in.
Chicago quarterback Kyle Orton, who has compiled a 91.4 passer rating in leading the Bears to a 4-3 record, has a similar situation as Rodgers. He has one more year remaining on his deal and has only recently emerged as a potential long-term answer at the position. And as Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times points out, Orton and Rodgers have the same agent in David Dunn.
The market for young established quarterbacks is pretty well set now, so there is no rush from the Bears' perspective to complete a deal with Orton. And with former starter Rex Grossman still on the roster as the backup, there's an argument to be made that negotiations with Orton would be best saved for the offseason.
Regardless, it seems safe to say that Orton is next on the NFC North's priority list of quarterback contracts.
Continuing around the division:
- First-round pick Chris Williams will be active Sunday against Detroit for the first time this season, Biggs reports in the Sun-Times.
- The Bears haven't had seven players with at least 200 receiving yards since 1989, points out Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald. The total currently stands at six, with Marty Booker 17 yards away from making it seven.
- The Packers initiated negotiations on Rodgers' deal early last week, according to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette on Rodgers: "In the eyes of those who can't or won't let go of the past, Rodgers' greatest flaw is he isn't [Brett] Favre. But that has proven to be his greatest strength."
- Napoleon Harris has taken over as Minnesota's full-time middle linebacker, writes Chip Scoggins and Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
- The Vikings appear to have no contract extensions on the horizon, reports Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
- Although his contract expires after this season, Detroit plans to bring back place-kicker Jason Hanson in 2009. Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com has the story.
- Here's how Lions coach Rod Marinelli attempted to defuse the words of offensive coordinator Jim Colletto on quarterback Drew Stanton: "What he's saying is, we want to make sure he's got enough tools to go into a game with." Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press wraps up a strange day at Lions practice.