Thursday, March 12, 2009
NFC North evening notes
By Kevin Seifert
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Let's catch up on Thursday's Black and Blue news items...
- Chicago formally acknowledged the retirement of right tackle John Tait by moving him to the reserve/retired list. This means the Bears will retain Tait's rights should he decide to play again. Think that nuance is irrelevant? See Favre, Brett. Because he is on the retired list, Tait's contract won't count against the Bears' salary cap.
- The Bears also announced that cornerback Marcus Hamilton signed his exclusive rights tender, making him eligible to participate in next week's mandatory mini-camp.
- Minnesota left tackle Bryant McKinnie was accepted into a pretrial diversion program in Miami-Dade (Fla.) County, avoiding a trial stemming from a February 2008 brawl outside a Miami nightclub. McKinnie must serve community service, receive anger-management counseling and avoid arrest during the program. He has already served a four-game NFL suspension for the incident.
- The Vikings announced three changes to their coaching staff, including one of the sons of Indianapolis president Bill Polian. Dennis Polian will serve as assistant to the head coach, replacing Kevin Stefanski, who was promoted to offensive quality control coach and will work primarily with quarterbacks. Chris White, who spent the past nine years on the Syracuse staff, will serve as assistant special teams coach.
- Detroit will host Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry on a visit Sunday, according to David Birkett of the Oakland Press. Curry will be the third draft-eligible prospect to meet with team officials at the Lions' practice facility, following Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith and Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford.