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NFC North Updates: Early Training Camp News from Around the Division for July 28th

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Jay Cutler started camp off in a Jay Cutler way, Jerrick McKinnon is really fast, and Detroit has two punters - in week's Best of the Rest.

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How much would you pay to be one of these guys who gets to hit Jay Cutler with a blunt object?
How much would you pay to be one of these guys who gets to hit Jay Cutler with a blunt object?
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

First of all, congrats to Jordy Nelson. I've spent the greater part of this offseason talking up Warp Speed at our division rivals' blogs and, needless to say, it would've been disappointing if he wasn't a Packer for the long run. He's finally getting compensated at a rate commensurate to not just his past performance but also his anticipated future. Let's get the Randall Cobb deal done next, Russ Ball.

With that out of the way, let's look at the early training camp storylines for the rest of our division.

Chicago Bears

The Bears should sign Kyle Orton - Windy City Gridiron

Jay Cutler has won 58% of his games as a starter in Chicago. Orton pulled out 'W's in 63%. They dealt with drastically situations, but when it comes to bringing home victories, Cutler hasn't had the franchise-changing impact that the front office likely expected at the time. Orton couldn't replicate his win total in Denver, though (he was benched for Tim Tebow) and was strictly a backup in Dallas, where he couldn't pull out a Week 17 win to rally the team into the playoffs. As a backup in Chicago, though, Orton offers pedigree that neither Jimmy Clausen nor Jordan Palmer can offer. Cutler generally misses a few games per year, so the team should replace Josh McCown with another proven veteran. Signing Orton would be a good choice for the franchise.

LOOK: Bears QB Jay Cutler has a van. It's a pretty nice van -

The $126 million man has decided that he's got to make some lifestyle changes, what with the two kids and all. But don't call it a minivan. Jay wants you to know that it's a conversion van. RESPECT IT.

Chicago Bears Training Camp: Day Two Practice Recap - Windy City Gridiron

Jay starts 11-on-11s with an interception. Also, Tim Jennings is practicing with a martial artist. The first fight of camp occurred between two units: - and you really shouldn't be all that excited if and when you get this right - the offensive and defensive lines. It doesn't sound like we had a scuffle yet. (Insert concerns about team physicality.)

Minnesota Vikings

Vikings Training Camp: Saturday Afternoon Practice Recap - Daily Norseman

It's not unusual for the media to report positive news during training camp. Even camp bodies often look like legitimate NFLers in shorts. It sounds like Jerrick McKinnon, the back out of Georgia Southern, has some game-breaking speed, though. Ted Glover says that the rookie looks to be faster than Percy Harvin. That is some high praise. It should be interesting how McKinnon fits in, with Adrian Peterson as the obvious starter and Matt Asiata as the backup with system experience. If his explosiveness is as unique as Glover seems to describe it, the team may be forced to find him a role. Having a deep stable of backs should help whoever starts under center for Minnesota.

Vikings' New Stadium Is Death Trap For Birds - Daily Norseman

Yup. If you want to make the jokes like, "Well, as long as it's killing falcons, cardinals, seahawks and eagles, fans should be okay with it," you're, like, seventy or eighty hours late.

Linval Joseph Played With Torn Labrum In 2013 - Daily Norseman

Wut. The giant (no pun intended) tackle didn't even tell his coaches that he was suffering from a fairly serious injury. I liked Linval going into free agency, and his toughness is an element I didn't even consider. Wow.

Vikings Training Camp: Kain Colter Making Push For Roster Spot - Daily Norseman

I'm pulling for Colter. He seems like a well-spoken and intelligent individual - so much so, in fact, that he has served as the voice of the players during Northwestern's football team's unionization process. A quarterback turned receiver (like Randall Cobb, except Cobb was a receiver for a good bit of time at Kentucky) Colter seems humble, a key trait for any undrafted free agent. Whether his perspective as a former signal-caller helps him transition to wideout remains to be seen.

Detroit Lions

Lions sign Drew Butler, release Gabe Lynn - Pride Of Detroit

How would you feel if you were the guy who got cut to make room for an extra punter? Especially if you knew that the punter in question was inevitably going to be cut, and that he would just be there to lighten the load on the starting punter? Lynn got some praise from PODers as a potential dark-horse candidate to get time at safety. Hopefully, he'll get the chance to ply his trade elsewhere.

Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford enters new phase of career — when many greats took off | Detroit Free Press |

It's optimism that surrounds Stafford at this point. For the first time in forever (sorry, Disney) he'll have a viable receiving option across from Calvin Johnson, and drafting Eric Ebron should help as well. If that combined with a new coach in Jim Caldwell (one who worked with Peyton Manning, mind you) can't make things better, though, the media might have to accept that Stafford will always be a high-yardage, high-interceptions type quarterback - one who's good enough to win his team games, but not when they matter the most.

'Highly unlikely' Lions' Ndamukong Suh gets new deal before camp

Sorry, didn't see you there. I was just busy placing Suh as a 5-tech in our defense. Put him across from Daniels and rotate in Datone Jones? The Packers project to have a bit of breathing room on the 2015 cap, even with the Nelson deal and anticipated pacts with Randall Cobb and perhaps Bryan Bulaga. It might not look that way, but Julius Peppers is very possibly a one-year investment and Tramon Williams could be suiting up for the last time in Green and Gold, at least with his current contract. Perhaps the team cuts Peppers and lets Williams walk, and then uses the cap savings to lure Suh away from the Motor City. Will other teams likely have the financial resources to keep Suh among the highest-paid players in the league? Surely. But playing for a Super Bowl contender might be on the former Cornhusker's mind as well, and if it is, there are few teams that offer both the competitiveness and opportunity on the defensive line that Green Bay does. We might stop talking about the Suh stomp and start talking about his explosive play.

As a final note for this week's post, I'd like to take a moment to touch on the news that the NFL will crack down harder on defensive holding and illegal contact. I'm in no way in favor of this movement. At this point, defenders can pretty much do nothing without a) being vilified by fans for taking 'cheap shots' when hitting the knee is now one of the few options or b) being fined and/or penalized. I, for one, don't want to see Arena Football League scores popping up across the league. But the teams that should really be irked about this are franchises like San Francisco and Seattle, who have made it to where they are through physical defensive play. We'll get to see in Week 1 how the Legion of Boom adapts to the new guidelines. After all, when the Packers and Seahawks and CenturyLink Field and primetime and officiating issues all combine early in the season, nothing bad ever happens. Right?