We're Black and Blue All Over:
The pending prison release of former NFL receiver Plaxico Burress will no doubt generate substantial speculation about where he might seek to play in 2011. Already, players on several teams have made public pitches. And I'm sure that in an NFC North context, we'll hear plenty of Chicago Bears speculation.
Will it be merited?
Here's all we know so far: Bears coach Lovie Smith has said he wouldn't mind acquiring a bigger receiver to join the trio of Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett and Devin Hester. Burress is 6-foot-5.
But would the Bears want the baggage Burress brings, not to mention the rust from two years of inactivity? Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune doesn't think so.
Pompei: "Burress has three things working against him. The first is he will be 34 when the season starts. The second is he has not played football, or even trained with a football team, for two full years. The third is he has a history of getting in trouble. I don't think the Bears are that desperate."
I tend to agree. We've spent plenty of time discussing receivers and the Bears, but I'm not sure Burress and the Bears will be a fit.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Bears rookie Gabe Carimi is making an impact on Chicago's Jewish community, writes Donald Liebenson of the Tribune.
The Detroit Lions' unwillingness to participate in "Hard Knocks" indicates they aren't sure how good they will be in 2011, writes Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press.
Lions receiver Calvin Johnson hopes he will have fresher legs during games after the team drafted rookie receiver Titus Young. Dave Birkett of the Free Press has more.
Check out this Twitpic of Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in London's Trafalgar Square. Suh is participating in the Gumball 3000 road race.
The Green Bay Packers have scheduled their annual shareholders meeting for July 28, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Packers linebacker Clay Matthews charmed the crowd at the Rochester Press-Radio Club's Day of Champions banquet. Kevin Oklobzija of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has more. Among Matthews' lines: "For all you guys out there, I'll be in each and every one of your showers," referring to his upcoming line of Suave shampoo.
A group of Minnesota Vikings are working out in the Twin Cities at a local fitness club, writes Mark Craig of the Star Tribune. The group includes: linebacker Heath Farwell, offensive lineman Steve Hutchinson, linebackers Ben Leber and Chad Greenway, center John Sullivan and tight end Jim Kleinsasser.
Receiver Hank Baskett and several Vikings teammates from 2010 participated in a charity event last weekend to benefit victims of child abuse, according to Lynn Hoppes of ESPN.com.