Everyone is sad that football is over but the offseason is right around the corner. Minnesota came up just short falling victim to the Super Bowl champs in Philadelphia in the NFC Title Game. Green Bay figures to recover from a poor 2017 season with a healthy Aaron Rodgers coming back. Matt Patricia is the new man in charge of the Detroit Lions and obviously hopes to put the Lions in competition for an NFC North crown in year one. Then there are the Bears… We will leave it at that.
The offseason is just around the corner as the franchise tag can be placed starting February 20th. Free agency starts shortly after in the early stages of March. What can we expect from each team within the NFC North heading into free agency?
Free Agents: Prince Amukamara, Zach Miller, Kyle Fuller, Cairo Santos, Pat O’Donnell, Benny Cunningham, Mitch Unrein
The first thing the Bears should do is look for a new quarterback because Mitchell Trubisky is never going to make it. Chicago is probably still delusional though so cutting Mike Glennon will just have to do for now. Cutting Glennon gives the Bears over $51 million in cap space to go and improve this horrid roster. I have no interest even talking about the Bears as long as a gimmick quarterback runs the show.
Re-signing Kyle Fuller should be priority number one. The former first-round pick from Virginia Tech apparently has no interest in returning to the Bears but it’s hard to blame him with the dysfunction going on within this franchise.
Free Agents: Haloti Ngata, Greg Robinson, Ezekiel Ansah, Tahir Whitehead, Paul Worrilow, Tavon Wilson, Travis Swanson
The good news for the Lions is they have over $46 million to play with. The bad news is that money could dry up really quickly just by bringing back some of their impending free agents. Ansah and Whitehead are going to make a pretty penny on the open market. The needs for Detroit rest on the defensive side of the ball and Matt Patricia will want some new toys.
It’s hard to get a gauge on what Patricia and his regime may target. Detroit has depth all over the roster. Just look at their receivers. The problem is they have no star players. The real improvement for the Lions will have to come via the draft.
Green Bay Packers:
Free Agents: Morgan Burnett, Ahmad Brooks, Richard Rodgers, Quinton Dial, Davon House
How is this team so bad with no money to spend? Green Bay enters the offseason with just a shade over $18 million to spend. Releasing Randall Cobb and or Jordy Nelson might be the way to go. Either one clears up around $10 million in cap space. With Davante Adams receiving a contract extension right after the season, you probably can’t afford to pay all three.
Green Bay has done a terrible job drafting in recent years and Ted Thompson was run out of town because of it. Outside of Mike Daniels, Clay Matthews, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, this defense has zero talent. Even an Anthony Hitchens from the Cowboys might do wonders. For a team that has virtually no history of signing free agents, I would expect them to be pretty quiet as usual.
Free Agents: Sam Bradford, Terence Newman, Emmanuel Lamur, Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, Michael Floyd, Tramaine Brock, Jerick McKinnon, Kai Forbath
There are not too many teams who enter the 2018 season in better shape than Minnesota. The Vikings have over $52 million to spend this offseason but have to find a quarterback one way or another. The trio of quarterbacks that the Vikings had a year ago are set to his free agency. It’s unclear who the Vikings would want back but they need to preserve this cap space. Trading up for a quarterback in the draft and surrounding him with unreal talent might be the way to go.
Imagine if the Vikings can sign Jarvis Landry, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Kyle Fuller in one offseason! That’s something the Vikings could theoretically do. Minnesota already has one of the best defenses in football. Finding a quarterback and finding a way to bolster the rest of the offense should be the way to go. Maybe that quarterback is already on the roster.