Free Agency Around the NFCN


Gute Loot
Jan 21, 2017
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After some heavy spending last off-season, the Packers have been pretty conservative in 2020. But what about the other clubs in the division?

Minnesota Vikings:
  • Extensions:
    • Kirk Cousins, QB: 2/66
    • Dan Bailey, K: 3/10
    • C.J. Ham, FB: 4/12
    • Britton Colquitt, P: 3/9
    • Sean Mannion, QB: 1/1.047
  • Signed:
    • Michael Pierce, iDL: 3/27
    • Tajae Sharpe, WR: 1/1
    • Anthony Zettel, DE: ???
    • Demarquis Gates, LB (XFL): 1/610K
  • Traded:
    • Stefon Diggs, WR
  • Tagged:
    • Anthony Harris, S (to be traded?)
  • Released:
    • Everson Griffen, ED (71% snaps in 2019)
    • Linval Joseph, iDL (51%)
    • Xavier Rhodes, CB (73%)
    • Josh Kline, G (72%)
  • Walked:
    • Trae Waynes, CB, (70%)
    • Mackensie Alexander, CB (49%)
    • Stephen Weatherly, ED (38%)
    • Jayon Kearse, S (25%)
    • Laquon Treadwell, WR (17%)
    • Andrew Sendejo, S, (14%)
  • Breakdown: The Vikings have absolutely taken it on the chin this off-season. They came into it underwater, cap wise, and were forced to shed a number of veteran contracts to get themselves right. In doing so, they have moved on from their top three cornerbacks, as well as starters at DE, DT, G, and WR. They are also likely to be short a safety, as reported indicate that they will trade the recently tagged Anthony Harris. Considering nickel to be their base defense, they're down a whopping 8 starters, and could only afford to address one of those spots with a significant FA addition (2 down run stuffer Michael Pierce). The Vikings are heading for major regression in 2020. They may not realize it yet, but they're rebuilding. Will not be shocked if both Spielman and Zimmer are shown the door by the end of the season.
Chicago Bears:
  • Extensions:
    • Danny Trevathan, LB: 3/21
    • Deon Bush, S: 1/1.4
  • Signed:
    • Robert Quinn, ED: 5/70
    • Jimmy Graham, TE: 2/16
    • Demetrius Harris, TE: 1/1.65
    • Artie Burns, CB: ???
    • Germain Ifedi, OT: ???
  • Traded:
    • To acquire Nick Foles, QB
  • Tagged:
    • Roy Robertson-Harris, iDL: 2nd Rd Tender
    • Rashaad Coward, OT: ERFA
  • Released:
    • Leonard Floyd, ED (83%)
    • Taylor Gabriel, WR (42%)
  • Walked:
    • Haha Clinton-Dix, S (99%)
    • Prince Amukamara, CB, (83%)
    • Nick Williams, iDL (50%)
    • Nick Kwiatkowski, LB (48%)
    • Cornelius Lucas, OT (48%)
    • Aaron Lynch, ED (23%)
    • Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB (20%)
    • Brent Urban, iDL (17%)
    • Ted Larsen, G (16%)
    • Chase Daniel, QB
  • Breakdown: While the Vikings certainly lost more than anyone else this off-season, the Bears decisions baffled me more than anyone else's. Choosing to extend a 30 year old over a 26 year old at linebacker was a strange decision. Choosing Nick Foles of all people when the QB market was actually full of options for once was bizarre. Paying Jimmy Graham! 8M/season defies explanation. Even Robert Quinn, who was at least a quality player last year, is a pretty bad idea. They gave 5 years, 70M to an edge who is about to turn 30. He's coming off 11.5 sacks in 2019, but you have to go back to 2014 before that to find the last time he hit double digits in the sack column. On top of that, he's missed a lot of time over the last 5 seasons with injury. This is another GM/HC duo who I think could be kicked to the curb at season's end.
Detroit Lions:
  • Extensions:
    • Danny Amendola, WR: 1/5
  • Signed:
    • Jamie Collins, LB: 3/30
    • Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT: 5/45
    • Desmond Trufant, CB: 2/20
    • Nick Williams, iDL: 2/10
    • Chase Daniel, QB: 3/13
    • Danny Shelton, iDL: 2/8
    • Jayron Kearse, S: 1/2
  • Traded:
    • Darius Slay, CB
    • To acquire Duron Harmon, S
  • Released:
    • Devon Kennard, LB (82%)
    • Rick Wagner, OT (70%)
    • Damon Harrison, iDL (46%)
  • Walked:
    • Graham Glasgow, G (81%)
    • Rashaan Melvin, CB (76%)
    • A'Shawn Robinson, iDL (46%)
    • J.D. McKissic, RB (23%)
  • Breakdown: The Lions off-season so far can be compared to a car spinning its tires in mud. They've made a lot of moves, but the sum total of all of it is that they're basically the same club. Let's review: cut Ricky Wagner and sign the Eagles' swing tackle for 9M. Trade Darius Slay and sign Desmond Trufant. Release LB/Pass rusher Devon Kennard and sign LB/Pass rusher Jamie Collins. Release or let walk Harrison and Robinson, sign Danny Shelton. Bottom line-- this is typically Patriots coaching staff crap. They want to collect as many people who have been around BB as possible, and it never works. They will be better in 2020 because their luck won't be as bad, but this is still probably a .500 or worse team. And once again, I could see both coach and GM fired by season's end.
So there you have it! My completely biased Packer fan take of the NFCN moves in free agency. I will not be shocked if Gutekunst and Petals are the only GM/HC pairing left standing at season's end.


Mar 11, 2015
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I saw some site that graded off-seasons and gave Chicago and Minnesota D-s. They gave the Packers a D


Nice detail, Dante. It pretty much confirms my general impression that these teams have all taken a step backward, Detroit less pronounced than the others but they're starting from a lower base line, injuries not withstanding.

The Packers probably also score a net negative because of Bulaga's departure, but not as extreme as Chicago and Minnesota. For a couple of teams that have predicated winning on defense, they shed a lot of contributors without offsetting adds.

We have to consider draft capital for plugging holes. Diggs, for example, is a large loss in production (if not peace in the kingdown), but they got a first rounder for him that goes into the "add" pile. So, here are the 1st. - 5th. round picks where hole plugs are most likely to come. This is from 3 days ago, so comments on any recent pick trades are welcome:


R1, #22
R1, #25
R2, #58
R3, #89
R3, #105
R4, #132
R5, #155

That's a nice load of top 105 picks to refresh the defense and a lot of rookies to have to count on if they concentrate the draft on that one side of the ball.


R2, #43
R2, #50
R5, #163

They're still paying for the Mack trade and other moves with deficient draft ammo piled on top of some questionable FA signings. I don't think anybody knows what these guys are trying to do.


R1, #3
R2, #35
R3, #67
R3, #85
R4, #109
R5, #149
R5, #166
R5, #172

A very good haul, primarily by virtue of a bad record. Now, they did go into December having accumulated over 20 injured players in various statuses. When you get down to Tra Carson as your emergency starter, to take one example, and then he gets injured, that's one indication you are in trouble and its getting worse. Still, climbing out of 3-13 is a long haul and it looks more like a rebuild than any major flip.


This is well know by now, but worth a comparison recap.

R1, #30
R2, #62
R3, #94
R4, #136
R5, #175

OK, that's what we get for a 13-3 record, sufficient to do what needs to be done. It just comes down to player selection, getting 3 players for the right spots out of the deal.
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May 2, 2012
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R2, #43
R2, #50
R5, #163

They're still paying for the Mack trade and other moves with deficient draft ammo piled on top of some questionable FA signings. I don't think anybody knows what these guys are trying to do.

If they weren't the division, albeit that doesn't stop it, if I were GM the Bears are the team I circle, highlight and underline with possibly trading with to get back into round 2. They're a team in serious need of picks.