NFC North Round Table: Offseason Edition
By Mike Payton
What are your thoughts on your NFC North rivals offseason?
SLR: “I suppose I’ll start out in Green Bay. I get what Ted Thompson is trying to accomplish in Green Bay and I commend it for the most part. But Aaron Rodgers isn’t getting any younger, and Ted refuses to put players around him through free agency that can possibly help him win another ring. At some point just having Aaron Rodgers won’t be good enough anymore. I think you started to see that last year.”
The Bears are doing some scary things with their defense no doubt. But I would be concerned with how the offense will cope with both the loss of Matt Forte and learning a new playbook. Admit it Bears fans, aren’t you a little concerned that you don’t truly know what Kevin White is capable of? Now the Bears will have to hope he was worth the top pick they used on him.”
The Vikings have a defense that should worry a lot of teams in 2016. But like the Bears, they have a questionable offense. Teddy Bridgewater is a fine game manager with Adrian Peterson behind him. But what if AP goes down for the year? The Vikings have no viable receiving threats. Which explains the 14 touchdowns and 9 interceptions Teddy threw last year. They have a shot to repeat on the back of their defense, but it could be as close as it’s ever been in this division in 2016. It may come down to who makes the first mistake.”
TVA: “The Chicago Bears had an excellent offseason. They brought in more personnel to help with the transition to the 3-4 defense, adding Danny Trevathan, Akeem Hicks, and Jerrell Freeman to help out their struggling run defense that gave up over 120 yards per game in 2015. If Kevin White can return strong and the defense can take a big step forward, the Bears could be a team to watch this year.
The Detroit Lions overpaid for talent, but did their best to fill holes. Trying to replace a guy like Calvin Johnson in free agency is impossible, nevertheless the team got the best available free agents and are hoping they can develop a chemistry with Stafford. However, I don’t feel they did a good enough job improving their offensive line or 19th ranked run defense.
Green Bay essentially stood pat, with their only major addition being tight end Jared Cook. That’s okay though, as a healthy receiving corps and a dangerous tight end will help keep the Packers as one of the most dangerous offenses in the league. Let’s be honest though, the Packers very rarely go out and get high-profile free agents, as they are an excellent franchise when it comes to drafting, developing, and retaining their own talent.
BAR: “The Vikings are proving to be the team to beat. They’ve made clever off-season acquisitions to help protect Teddy Bridgewater. They now have depth at the offensive line that should be able to withstand injuries.
The Packers got a much needed tight end to help their passing attack and re-signed some important players. But, I’m not of fan of Ted Thompson’s (their GM) approach to free agency. I think he looks into the future so much, he’ve overlooking opportunities to help one of the game’s great quarterbacks win now.
The Lions are taking a very cautious approach. It’s questionable, to me, whether they have a better roster now than they did at the end of the season. GM Bob Quinn is set on managing the team’s cap better than the previous GMs did. I expect they will have a good draft, but see the team going through a short rebuilding phase.”
APC: “Lions- Love the hiring of Bob Quinn as General Manager, and think he will be a huge step in the right direction. Losing Calvin Johnson was tremendously disappointing just from somebody who loves this game., so that was tough to see. Detroit has a “bit of rebuilding phase in front of them, but they’ve done well all things considering so far through free agency and should be fun to watch during the NFL Draft.
Vikings- Signing Michael Griffin was a nice addition to an already tenacious defense but the Vikings haven’t had to do much given how well they’ve built their team in the draft. Given the perplexity at the wide receiver position throughout draft prospects so far, it’ll be interesting to see if that’s what they choose to address early.
Bears- The Bears have done a great job in addressing positions of need. The signings of Bobby Massie, Jerrell Freeman, and Danny Trevathan will work out nicely for this teams future, and I think John Fox will have this team respectable even next season.”
That’s going to do it for this edition of NFC North Round Table. Be sure to leave your comments below. Don’t like what we said? Come yell at us all on Twitter. Mike Payton @SLR_Mike, Adam Carlson @MNVikingZombie, Aldo Gandia @AldoBarkeeper and Zach Roethlisberger @ZRoethlisberger. Thanks for joining us.