Poll: Which NFC North Team Had The Best Offseason?

Over the past couple weeks, we’ve asked you which teams from the AFC North, AFC East, AFC West, and NFC West had the best offseasons. Today we’ll be looking at the offseason each team from the NFC North had, another division that was quite active. 

The Vikings made the biggest splash in the entire league when they signed Kirk Cousins to the NFL’s first ever multi-year fully guaranteed deal for a quarterback. They let three of their quarterbacks from last year, Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, and Sam Bradford walk in free agency. Their offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur left to be the head coach of the Giants and they replaced him with Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo. They signed a pair of players away from the division rival Bears, guard Tom Compton and receiver Kendall Wright, and added Pro Bowl defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson from the Seahawks. They lost running back Jerick McKinnon to the 49ers but will return Dalvin Cook who was lost to a torn ACL early last season. They added cornerback Mike Hughes from Central Florida with their first round pick. Overall, there was a lot of turnover from last year’s team that made the NFC Championship game, and the Vikings will be counting on a lot of new faces to help them get back there.

The Bears started their offseason off by firing John Fox, and hiring Matt Nagy to replace him. They looked to bolster last year’s woeful receiving corp by signing Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel in free agency. They also added tight end Trey Burton as another pass-catcher for Mitchell Trubisky. They used the eighth overall pick on Roquan Smith, the linebacker from Georgia. The team cut Mike Glennon after his short four-game tenure as the starting quarterback last year and signed Chase Daniel to be Trubisky’s new veteran mentor backup. The team retained defensive coordinator Vic Fangio after a lot of speculation about his potential departure and matched a large offer sheet that cornerback Kyle Fuller signed with the Packers. Overall, the offseason was all about offense for the Bears, from Nagy’s hiring to the signing of Robinson and Burton. Chicago is looking to set up Trubisky for as much success as possible in his second year, and tangible progress from him will be the most important thing for the team this season.

The Lions also changed coaches, firing Jim Caldwell and hiring Matt Patricia. Patricia, formerly the Patriots defensive coordinator, was a hot name in head coaching searches the past few seasons but no one was able to lure him away until finally Detroit did this spring. They didn’t make many major moves in free agency, but did sign a handful of defensive role players like defensive lineman Sylvester Williams and cornerback DeShawn Shead. They let their former first round pick, tight end Eric Ebron walk in free agency to the Colts. They also let defensive tackle Haloti Ngata sign with the Eagles. They took center Frank Ragnow from Arkansas in the first round of this year’s draft to strengthen the offensive line. They added running back Kerryon Johnson in the second round, who they hope will become the three-down back they’ve been lacking for many years. Overall, besides the coaching change it was a relatively quiet offseason for the Lions. They’ll look to stay the course and hope Matthew Stafford can carry the team to the playoffs yet again.

The Packers made some rare coaching changes. They didn’t retain longtime defensive coordinator Dom Capers and replaced him with Mike Pettine. They also fired offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt, who was reportedly close with Aaron Rodgers. They hired former Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin to be the new offensive coordinator. They cut former star receiver Jordy Nelson and signed defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, tight end Jimmy Graham, and cornerback Tramon Williams. They traded cornerback Damarious Randall to the Browns for quarterback DeShone Kizer, and drafted cornerback Jaire Alexander in the first round. The focus was clearly on addressing the defense, the team’s achilles heel in recent years, and particularly the secondary. Overall, it was an offseason of change, as the team said goodbye to several former staples. Aaron Rodgers will return from the injury that cost him most of the 2017 season, and will once again need to carry the load if the Packers 2018 season is going to be successful.

Which team do you think had the best offseason in the NFC North? Vote in PFR’s poll below and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section!

 

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33 comments on “Poll: Which NFC North Team Had The Best Offseason?

  1. benharvey26

    Though biased, I have to believe long term that the Lions have made the best changes. Creating a new atmosphere of winning will set them up for years to come.

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    • justinept

      No guarantee they created an atmosphere of winning, though. It’s not like other Belicek guys have been successful. Patricia might be different, but there’s no guarantee.

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    • nickolai

      I agree with long term but the winning atmosphere will only come after the seaon is over….but considering it’s the best off season and not the regular season I’m sticking with the Lions as well. They needed a change on both the head coach and defensive side of the ball because it was so predictable (watching every game calling the plays is not good). Not to mention, they also hired some nice additions to the o-line staff and that’s where they struggled the past few years. Ron Prince was not getting the job done and if the run game can get to creditable that’s going to make Stafford even better. Hopefully Patricia isn’t like the other former assistant patriot coaches!! Come on football season!

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  2. Hannibal8us

    Vikes improved at QB and DL and were already the best team in the North but in terms of improvement it’s gotta be the Bears, they easily could win 4 more games this year.

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    • ynot988

      Best team in the north? If Rodgers didn’t get hurt you would have been lucky to make the playoffs. Stop kidding yourself

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      • BrewBucksVikes

        If the Vikings were to lose a starting quarterback they wouldn’t have a bad season, which means they are a good team, and a whole lot better than the packers.

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        • daman2032

          The vickings did lose their starting q.v. the last two years and did make the playoff last year.

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          • brewcrew08

            The Vikings have never lost a QB the caliber of Rodgers. Heck they’ve never even had a QB the caliber of Rodgers in their history. Packers fixed (on paper) their issues in the secondary by adding Williams, Alexander and Jackson. Upgraded at TE big time and at DL with Wilkerson. Rodgers healthy last year the packers would’ve won 11 games. Rodgers healthy this year they win 12-13.

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            • cka2nd

              If Fran Tarkenton hadn’t spent five years of his prime on the Giants (four Pro Bowls), chances are he’d have that second league MVP award and at least one Super Bowl win to match Rodgers, and probably two or three.

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      • wild05fan

        If Rodgers didn’t get hurt the Vikings still go 13-3.

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        • brewcrew08

          So the Vikings go 2-0 against GB even with a healthy Rodgers? Good one. When is the last time the Vikings ever swept the packers in a season when Rodgers was healthy? I’ll wait.

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          • dylanb737

            hold on you kidding yourself right? the game rodgers went down on Minnesota im 3 or 4 drives whatever rodgers played. your entire offense only mustered 25 total offensice yards. go check. ill wait lol minnesota has 4 wins out of the last 5 times theyve met. we dont need your high caliber qb cause we have a way more talented all around roster. quit kidding yourself. plus we just added one of seattles best linemen. AND add kirk who has had 3 straight season in washington of 4k yards and atleast 25 tds. per season. bring up he has a losing record. well thatll happen when in your tenure with a team they cant evem breal the top 20 in overall defense..

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            • dylanb737

              and i aplogize for spelling errors, i cant see half the screen whem writing

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              • brewcrew08

                Packers are 11-5-1 against Minnesota since 2010. You bring up last year. That’s my exact point. When Rodgers is on the field packers are 11-3-1 against Minnesota. That speaks for itself. You tie your argument into 4 series? Lol come on man smallest sample size you can pull from huh? You added Cousins great. Keenum played amazing last year. You expect that much more for Kirk? Packers added 3 CB’s (2 of top 3 in the draft), Wilkerson who’s proven to be a pro bowl DL and with Rodgers throwing to him Graham can be a top 5 TE.

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        • hill
          hill

          The Vikings were a better team than the Packers last year.

          The Packers had the better offseason on paper.

          But the Vikings have a defense that can carry them no matter the weather, opponent or injury situation.

          The Vikings are still better.

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      • slslinde

        Hope they joe thiesman his leg next time! He is an egotistical prick

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  3. afsooner02

    Packers when they FINALLY fired capers. No other move will have a bigger impact than not having to watch the packers defense give up 30-40 points a game multiple times a year and cam newton laughing at us because the d sucked so badly.

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    • justinept

      Time will tell if Capers was the biggest issue. The talent wasn’t exactly great on the GB defense.

      Wilkerson is hit or miss depending on his desire. And I get that it being a contract year makes people believe he’ll actually play hard – but effort is a habit that can’t always be turned off and on at will.

      As for the DBs, it’s promising. They should be an improvement over the garbage GB was throwing out there in 2017, but didn’t GB recently use two high picks on DBs? So there are no guarantees.

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      • brewcrew08

        Josh Jones and Kevin King? Both played decently well last season when on the field. Those two paired with Williams, House, Alexander and Jackson is a solid group.

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  4. justinept

    The Bears likely made the most improvement simply because they had the most room to improve. They were lining up garbage all year at WR, and now they’re lining up Robinson, Gabriel, Miller, and Burton. Even if that turns out to be a league average collection of pass catchers, it still represents a significant improvement over what they had in 2017…

    The most overrated improvement goes to Minnesota with Cousins. That’s not a knock on Cousins. It’s really just an acknowledgement of how good Keenum was last year. How much better can Cousins be in 2018 than Keenum was in 2017?

    Also- that’s not a guess as to which of the two players will be better moving forward. I’d be surprised if Keenum didn’t go back to being average while Cousins continued to be solid. In that respect, changing out the QBs was a good move to maintain the status quo of solid production. But it’s still hard to imaging it will be an improvement over what the Vikings had a year ago.

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    • AstrosWS20

      I completely agree with all this. The Vikes did some good stuff, but it ultimately won’t be a huge improvement. As a Bears fan, it hurts to say that they were hot garbage, but they were. They did a lot to improve on offense and should maintain or improve upon their solid defensive showing last year.

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      • AstrosWS20

        It’ll be difficult with their schedule, but the Bears have the potential to put up 4 more wins this year.

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    • Rondon

      Huge overpay for Cousins. Keenum’s mobility saved their butts last season. Cousins moves like a tortoise and you have to wonder if that o-line with hold up with a guy that can’t buy time with his feet.

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  5. radiohead801

    Yeah. The Vikings really hurt the Bears by taking away a backup offensive lineman and a receiver who only had 550 yards. Oh how will they survive!!!

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    • cka2nd

      614 yards, and those and his 59 receptions led the Bears. I’m sure they’ll survive, but if Wright beats out Laquon Treadwell to be the Vikes’ WR3, he’ll have easily the best QB of his career throwing to him.

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      • radiohead801

        Yeah. Those 64 yards make a huge difference. Everything else you said is a bunch of crap.

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