About one week after the beginning of free agency, how do the Green Bay Packers stack up with the rest of the NFC North in 2020?
There’s plenty of offseason remaining, there’s no doubt about it. However, the four teams in the NFC North have been plenty busy throughout this first week of free agency with their teams changing shape already.
After winning the NFC North last season, the Green Bay Packers hope to go back to back in 2020. Like the rest of their conference rivals, they have a lot of work to do before the season arrives in September.
After the initial flurry of moves, let’s check in on the division and predict how teams would finish if the season were to start today:
4. Detroit Lions
Additions: Desmond Trufant (CB), Jayron Kearse (S), Jamie Collins (LB), Duron Harmon (S), Danny Shelton (DL), Halapoulivaati Vaitai (T)
Losses: Darius Slay (CB), Mike Daniels (DL), Graham Glasgow (OG), Damon Harrison Sr. (DL), A’Shawn Robinson (DL), Devon Kennard (OLB)
In 2019, the Detroit Lions finished an abysmal 3-12-1 and went 0-6 in the division. They’ve overhauled their defense this offseason by adding Trufant, Kearse and Collins, among others. It’s no surprise given Matt Patricia’s background as a defensive coordinator with the New England Patriots.
Still, they lack playmakers on both offense and defense and likely won’t contend for the division title in 2020. Their best hope is to add a few more wins to their resumé and finish closer to .500.
3. Minnesota Vikings
Additions: Michael Pierce (DL),
Losses: Stefon Diggs (WR), Trae Waynes (CB), Everson Griffen (EDGE), Mackensie Alexander (CB), Linval Joseph (DT), Jayron Kearse (S), Andrew Sendejo (S), Xavier Rhodes (CB)
The Minnesota Vikings finished second in the division last season with a 10-6 record, but have lost a lot of talent so far including Diggs, Griffen, Joseph and Rhodes. That’s a lot to overcome and their squad will look vastly different in 2020.
There’s still plenty of time for the Vikings to move up this power ranking, as they possess ample amounts of draft picks and cap space to add to their team. As the offseason progresses, don’t be surprised to see them challenge for the top spot.
2. Chicago Bears
Additions: Nick Foles (QB), Robert Quinn (EDGE), Jimmy Graham (TE), Artie Burns (CB), Jordan Lucas (S)
Losses: Prince Amukamara (CB), Taylor Gabriel (WR), Nick Kwiatkoski (LB), Leonard Floyd (EDGE), Kevin Pierre-Louis (LB), Kyle Long (G), Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S)
A year after winning the North, the Chicago Bears ran out of luck, finishing 8-8 overall and 4-4 in the division. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky proved too much of a liability for the rest of the team to overcome. Enter Nick Foles, who the Bears traded for this offseason and they hope to have an upgrade at quarterback.
Chicago still appears to be a few offensive playmakers short, as they cut Taylor Gabriel and added ex-Packer Jimmy Graham. However, their defense will be as strong as ever thanks to the addition of Robert Quinn opposite Khalil Mack. They have a chance to win the division, but have work to do to get there.
1. Green Bay Packers
Additions: Christian Kirksey (LB) and Ricky Wagner (RT)
Losses: Blake Martinez (LB), Bryan Bulaga (RT), Kyler Fackrell (OLB), Jimmy Graham (TE)
After a quick couple of moves in free agency, it’s been a slow and quiet week for the limited Packers. They’ve lost some talented players in Martinez and Bulaga, while also cutting ties with Graham. Despite finding new starters at inside linebacker and right tackles, Green Bay appears to have taken a step back talent-wise.
Green Bay being at the top of this power ranking has less to do with them and more to do with the gaping holes the rest of their teams in the division have. The Packers are here by default and have work to do if they want to accomplish their true goal in 2020; win a Super Bowl.