Open thread: What is the future of the NFC North?

Pride of Detroit

After news of the Davante Adams trade broke on Thursday night, I think it’s safe to say that Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not going to the ending he had once hoped for. Adams will be heading west, joining the Las Vegas Raiders, and former Fresno State teammate, quarterback Derek Carr.

Obviously, the Packers will look at least somewhat different next year, but what about the rest of the division?

The Chicago Bears are dealing with plenty of turnover, entering the new league year with a new coach in Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles. The new regime has a young and talented quarterback in Justin Fields, as well as some other young players to build around. But they are working through some financial duress at the moment, having just sent All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Bears also lead the NFL in dead money at the moment, with over $45 million going towards players who won’t be on their roster in 2022.

Further west, the Minnesota Vikings are also undergoing wholesale changes with their front office. Kevin O’Connell, the former offensive coordinator with the Rams, is in as the new coach, and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is the new general manager of the club. After recommitting big money to quarterback Kirk Cousins, there won’t be any change for the Vikings at that position. However, some of their mainstays on defense—like defensive end Danielle Hunter, linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive tackle Michael Pierce—are likely playing elsewhere in 2022.

Or, to recap succinctly:

That brings us back to where we began, the trade that rocked the NFL news cycle on a night that is supposed to belong to college basketball. How much will it affect Rodgers being without arguably the best wide receiver in football? Will the rookie the Packers inevitably select in the 2022 NFL draft immediately gel with the veteran quarterback? Time will tell.

What do you think? It’s still early in the offseason, but what do you make of how the other three NFC North teams have approached free agency? Let us know in the comments.

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