Fans of at least two NFC North teams were no doubt intrigued by Tuesday night's developments regarding Denver quarterback Jay Cutler, whose conference call with Broncos officials left some wondering whether he will show up for the team's offseason program next Monday. If he doesn't and begins pushing for a trade, you would think Detroit and Minnesota will at least be entered into the public discussion for his services.
The Lions reportedly were involved in talk of a three-way deal last month that would have sent Matt Cassel to Denver and, presumably, Cutler to Detroit. David Birkett of the Oakland Press notes that Cutler and Lions receiver Calvin Johnson have the same agent (Bus Cook). Acquiring Cutler would leave the Lions free to draft an offensive tackle with the No. 1 overall pick, presuming they don't give it away in the trade.
It's important not to get ahead of ourselves. According to my ESPN.com colleague Bill Williamson, the Broncos re-emphasized to Cutler on Tuesday that they will not trade him. And even if that stance changes, there would still be plenty of work to do before he might land in Detroit.
Or Minnesota, for that matter. Vikings vice president Rick Spielman didn't rule out further additions last week, but he also said it would set the franchise back to gut another draft a year after giving up three high picks for defensive end Jared Allen. As always, stay tuned.
Now for a jaunt around the division:
- The Lions will have a minicamp before the draft in part to let coaches evaluate the quarterbacks on their roster, according to Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
- Bob Wojnowksi of the Detroit News: "It's way way way way way too early to say new Lions general manager Martin Mayhew and new coach Jim Schwartz have a firm grasp of their jobs. Way too early. But in the talent procurement stage of the Lions' latest rebuild, I'm willing to muster this lofty praise for the new brain trust: They didn't screw up."
- Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald believes it would be a mistake for Chicago to pursue free-agent safety Roy Williams.
- Green Bay never came close to signing free-agent linebacker Kevin Burnett, who agreed to terms Wednesday with San Diego, according to Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
- Vikings free-agent offensive lineman Marcus Johnson visited Tennessee, according to the Tennessean via Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
- Minnesota defensive end Kenechi Udeze, who is recovering from an acute form of leukemia, was in Baltimore this week to participate in ceremonies for the Ed Block Courage Award. Udeze told Mike Klingaman of the Baltimore Sun that he intends to be a part of the Vikings' offseason workouts.