We're Black and Blue All Over:
The Chicago Bears have blocked offensive line coach Mike Tice from interviewing for the Tennessee Titans' offensive coordinator job, reports Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. That decision brings to mind a clause that ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson has reported exists in most contracts for Bears assistant coaches.
Every NFL team has a different plan for a lockout. According to Munson, Bears coaches face an immediate 25 percent pay cut with a team option to dismiss after a 60-day notice.
Had he been hired by the Titans, it's possible Tice could have been forced to accept a similar clause. But from a professional and financial aspect, he would have had a bigger reward waiting for him on the other side of the lockout.
The Bears did what was best for them right now, realizing that Tice did an excellent job last season and knowing it would be difficult to replace him at this point in the offseason.
In truth, the Bears could opt not to exercise the contract option, and it's hard to imagine them terminating Tice's contract for short-term financial savings after refusing to let him interview with the Titans. But if nothing else, it's a reminder that a lockout would impact more than just owners and players -- and that even a team that encourages career advancement has its limits.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Bears did the right thing by retaining Tice, writes Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald, but "[g]iving Tice a new contract -- and a raise -- would be the right thing to do for him."
Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times: "But there were questions about how serious new Titans coach Mike Munchak was about Tice as his coordinator."
Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News on the Detroit Lions' offseason status: "The Lions don't stand to lose anyone who isn't replaceable."
Lions backup quarterback Shaun Hill is "heavily against" an 18-game season, writes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
The Green Bay Packers are expecting some layoffs and/or other cutbacks if a lockout occurs, but team president/CEO Mark Murphy doesn't believe they will be extensive. Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette has more.
Michael Rand of the Star Tribune speaks with Steve Nordness, a Minneapolis resident who was among the Packers fans displaced in the Super Bowl XLV seat fiasco.
Minnesota Vikings players are making plans to work out together during a lockout, writes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.