NFC North: Mike Butler
I'm guessing at least a few of the veterans on Detroit's roster sat up a little straighter Thursday after new coach Jim Schwartz released cornerback Travis Fisher, who by default was the Lions' No. 1 cornerback entering training camp. At least, Fisher thought he was.
Here's what he said a few weeks ago, according to John Niyo of the Detroit News:
"It's a situation for me, personally, to go into camp feeling like I'm the No. 1 guy."
Sorry, Travis. The Lions released him on the eve of their rookie minicamp, a bold move in the sense that they aren't really in position to shed talent. Whether you think Fisher was a talented cornerback or not, he probably belongs on an NFL team. You can't say that about every player whose name has resided on the Lions' roster in recent years.
Consider it a mild warning shot for a group of players who has no business being comfortable or making assumptions about its role on the team.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Schwartz said Thursday the team has made no decisions on its quarterback depth beyond the release of Drew Henson, according to Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com. Schwartz also acknowledged the team hosted veteran defensive lineman Kevin Carter on a visit, saying Carter could play defensive end on early downs and move to defensive tackle in obvious passing situations.
- The Lions promoted pro personnel director Sheldon White to a vice president's position and said they are reorganizing the geographical arrangement of their scouting department. Also, regional scout Mike Butler will not return, according to Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press.
- Green Bay rookie defensive tackle B.J. Raji admitted Thursday that he once tested positive for marijuana while playing at Boston College. Here's what Raji said, according to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "I'm a man, that was a mistake I made in the past, which is the past."
- Raji and fellow first-round pick Clay Matthews are in the same spot as their veteran defensive teammates: Learning a new scheme. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
- Minnesota has invited Cole Konrad, a 315-pound former wrestler at the University of Minnesota, to its rookie camp this weekend on a tryout basis. Mark Craig of the Star Tribune has the story.
- Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune profiles Marcus Fitzgerald, the younger brother of Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald. Marcus, a receiver who sat out last year after tearing a hamstring muscle at the 2008 Marshall pro day, has also will get a tryout with the Vikings this weekend.
- Here is Chicago's full list of tryout players for its rookie camp this weekend, according to the team Web site.
- Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times writes the Bears were planning to take Ohio safety Michael Mitchell in the fourth round of last weekend's draft -- not in the second round as Mitchell had indicated in interviews after Oakland selected him.