NFC North Watch: Keeping Up With The Joneses

If Zygi Wylf had his way, the Vikings wouldn't be playing in this dome when their lease expires after this season. (Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)

Vikings might return to suburban roots

The Vikings' new stadium could end up in the suburbs of Minneapolis - one of the three realistic options involves putting a new stadium in Arden Hills. The other two options are the site of the current Metrodome and the site of the Minneapolis Farmers Market, right next to Target Field. Garbage bag roofs are, to my knowledge, not in the construction plans.

However, the Vikings may be paying up to 40 percent of the cost of the new stadium.

Being that their lease on the Metrodome expires after this season, they don't have much time. The legislative session in Minnesota adjourns on May 23.

Of course, on the field, the Vikings quarterback situation is still unsettled. Leslie Frazier says that "Ideally, I'd like for him [Christian Ponder] to be ready to go when we play San Diego," but the lockout could push that, depending on how much time Ponder has to digest the offense. Joe Webb and Rhett Bomar are the only other quarterbacks on the roster, and the Vikings have shown interest in veteran Donovan McNabb.

Packers planning expansion at Lambeau Field

Brad Biggs is reporting that the Packers are looking to push the stadium's capacity past 80,000. The plan is to expand the south end zone area - this spot was left open in the 2003 renovation of Lambeau. Other happenings include installing a new sound system and putting in new video boards, and maybe even a baseball stadium. 

Packers have special plans right away for rookie Cobb

Randall Cobb, as possibly the most versatile player in the draft, can contribute in five different ways to the Packers - receiver, running back, returner, holder and quarterback. Yes, quarterback. Looking strictly at him as a receiver, he'll be the number 4 behind Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Donald Driver, but he has the skills to be employed in a Wildcat type package.

Lions 'significantly ahead' when it comes to ticket sales

All that hype, combined with a strong finish last year and a corresponding 37 percent increase in television ratings, led to new ticket sales and more renewals of season-ticket holders. Imagine what would happen if they got 'significantly ahead' in the division this season.

What might help in that regard is the Lions turning their attention to defensive backs and linebackers. Especially if they pursue and get Nnamdi Asomugha. Linebacker has fewer targets with the talent and resume of Asomugha, but with two jobs open and Jim Schwartz saying he likes his guys enough to not reach in the draft, the players they sign may be no more than one- or two-year stopgaps.

In other Lions news, the drafting of Titus Young could lead to the departure of Bryant Johnson and Derrick Williams. Both the receivers have been inconsistent in the slot receiver spot, and with the one and two spots being held by Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson, the other Johnson is too expensive to keep, and Williams has only 9 catches in 18 games. The team may pursue a bottom-rung veteran receiver as a mentor for Young.

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