NFC North: Malcon Jenkins
The end of the NFL season ushers the return of the Black and Blue mailbag. Check in every weekend this offseason for an exciting new installment -- and feel free to send your questions here at any time.
Detroit writes: Any news on what the Steelers are going to do with Larry Foote? And his comments on playing in Detroit for his final seasons. Are the Lions interested in him and would that be possible if the Steelers release him?
Kevin Seifert: Yes, Foote has been vocal about wanting to end his career in Detroit. I'm not saying this is the case, but I wonder if he isn't trying to create a little leverage with the Steelers. Pittsburgh doesn't typically break the bank on free agents. I don't get the sense the Lions are looking to make too man big-money expenditures in free agency, which would at least make Foote a possibility for them.
Jim writes: I believe stability is huge in team chemistry, potential, and success. Would you care to comment on the stability of each of the NFC North Division team -- as you see it?
Kevin Seifert: I guess it depends on how you define stability. For the purpose of this question, I'll consider it from a big-picture, franchise standpoint. Under that definition, I think the Packers are the most stable team in the NFC North. They've got a high revenue-producing stadium and a stock ownership structure that eliminates some of the front-office drama many teams face. We're still learning about Mark Murphy, the president and CEO, but I don't expect him to have a quick trigger on personnel decisions. Chicago has been relatively stable under team president Ted Phillips. General manager Jerry Angelo and coach Lovie Smith have been given time to carry out their vision. The Vikings have gained a measure of stability under new owner Zygi Wilf, but the looming expiration of their stadium lease means they could move as early as 2012. But Detroit has to be the least stable team. The Ford family subjected itself to eight years of misery under president Matt Millen and then promoted two of his subordinates to replace him.