We're Black and Blue All Over:
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Greetings from the shadow of Lambeau Field. Rolled into Green Bay just before midnight (CT) Monday and am raring to go for Day 1 of Green Bay Packers minicamp. Practice starts at 11:45 a.m. ET (10:45 a.m. in Green Bay). I'll offer some pithy thoughts via Twitter (@espn_nfcnblog) in real time, and the blog will start filling up by mid-afternoon.
Before we hopscotch around the division, I want to make special note of what I thought was a smart take on the apparently ongoing contract talks between the Detroit Lions and coach Jim Schwartz.
Most of us have assumed the sides would find common ground this offseason to eliminate the distraction of Schwartz opening the season with an expiring contract. But that makes more sense for the Lions than Schwartz, as Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com notes, and Schwartz could probably increase his leverage by waiting until after the 2012 season to do this deal.
The worst-case scenario is Schwartz leaving the team for, presumably, another head-coaching job. Otherwise, he could enhance his value to the Lions with another winning season. Even without one, the Lions' offer isn't likely to get lower from what it is now.
Chances are it won't come to that, but Richardson provided another angle to what could grow into a more significant story at some point.
Now for our division tour:
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "He didn't consider a career change or spiral down into a state of depression, but Aaron Berry had a couple of sleepless nights after the way he finished last season."
Complacency doesn't appear to be an issue for the Lions as they prepare for the start of minicamp, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
The Lions signed veteran receiver Jarrett Dillard on Monday, notes McCosky.
Competition at left tackle tops Michael C. Wright's list of minicamp storylines for the Chicago Bears over on ESPNChicago.com.
Bears defensive tackle Matt Toeaina has a broken right hand but will participate in minicamp nonetheless, according to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
The total guaranteed money in the contract of Packers receiver Donald Driver is $1.2 million, according to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, yet another indication that the Packers plan to keep him on the roster this season.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has the right to discipline Packers defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove in the New Orleans Saints' bounty case, an arbitrator ruled.
It's been a wild few years for Minnesota Vikings backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels, writes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
The three-game suspension of Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson also includes an additional one-game fine, notes Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune.