NFC North Notes: Bears, Vikings, Flowers

The Bears have made some splashy trades since Ryan Pace replaced Phil Emery as GM in 2015. Deals that brought Khalil Mack and Mitch Trubisky to Chicago required major assets to complete. Fourth-year starter Cody Whitehair and second-round tight end Adam Shaheen also forced the Bears to surrender multiple mid-round picks. In a detailed piece by The Athletic’s Adam Jahns (subscription required), Pace summarized his aggressiveness on these fronts.

I think if you sit on your hands and you say, ‘Oh, this player is definitely going to get to us,’ and he goes right before you and you had conviction on him — not just you but the scouts and the coaches – and you wait on it, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Pace said. “If you have a guy or a group of guys, be aggressive and make it happen.

I don’t want to undervalue any of these mid-round picks. We’ve shown a lot examples of us hitting on those players. But I know if we’re ever in a situation where, ‘Hey, we’re doing a little too much here,’ we can police ourselves on that. But as long as it’s a fair deal and we’re getting a player that we all have conviction on, then we’ll do it.”

As teams break for camp, here is more from the NFC North:

  • A knee injury Ha Ha Clinton-Dix suffered during Chicago’s offseason program resulted in the recently signed safety beginning his first Bears camp on the active/PUP list. The former Packers and Redskins defender has not missed a game since the 2014 season.
  • However, the Bears received good news on Trey Burton. The team’s second-year tight end starter has been cleared for camp work. The “Philly Special” quarterback underwent sports hernia surgery this offseason.
  • Although Alexander Mattison is the assumed next man up if Dalvin Cook again goes down with an injury, Mike Zimmer cautioned about anointing the third-round pick too soon. The sixth-year Vikings coach (via the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling) singled out third-year UDFA C.J. Ham as a player who stands to play more on passing downs, in front of Mattison, due to pass-protection skills. Backs often begin their NFL careers limited at this skill, so the 26-year-old Ham (31 touches in two seasons, when Latavius Murray played behind Cook) may function as a stopgap while Mattison is groomed.
  • The Lions‘ top offseason expense, Trey Flowers will not begin camp with the bulk of his teammates. The four-year Patriots pass rusher will start his first Lions camp on their active/PUP list. Flowers underwent shoulder surgery before signing with the Lions, but Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes the $18MM-per-year defensive end is expected to be ready by Week 1.
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12 comments on “NFC North Notes: Bears, Vikings, Flowers

  1. jeb39999

    CJ Ham was not good any time he got in the game last year. I would hope Marttison could beat him out easily if he can’t then the Vikes made the wrong pick.

  2. crosseyedlemon

    Trading up one spot for a Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers gets Pace a pass. Trubisky is neither of those guys so you still botched it Ryan.

    • Steven Juris

      Rodgers sucked his first 2-3 years also. So did Brees. Brees was so good in San Diego that they acquired Rivers.

    • Matthew Heywood

      And you know trubisky isn’t good because of what? Rodgers sat on the bench for 3 plus years and brees was let go by the saints. At least try to pick players that fit your narrative next time

      • leprechaun

        When did the Saints let go of Brees? Get your facts right so you don’t look stupid!!!

      • kyote35

        How about Pat Mahomes then? Moved up 1 spot to draft Trubisky over Pat Mahomes. I’m a Bears fan, but I can’t defend that trade right now. I just hope that Pace doesn’t double down on Trubisky with a big contract when that time comes. Unless of course Trubisky is an elite QB by then, but I’m not holding my breath.

    • howiehandles

      Most guys aren’t Rodgers or Brees, especially after two years, including both the aforementioned players. Stick to Madden

  3. maximumvelocity

    Pace deserves benefit of doubt, as he has hit on most of his picks.

    But I still believe they bet against themselves with the Trubisky draft trade.

  4. srsjsn

    When Pace took over this team they had nothing and has done a good job of building this roster. No GM hits on every move. Rather him be aggressive than passive

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