3 Worst Free Agency Moves From the Packers' NFC North Rivals

These moves could be great...for the Packers.

Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Lions Overpaying for Marcus Davenport

For the second time in two years, someone in the NFC North went out and (over)paid for Marcus Davenport. Then again, teams have been overpaying for him since before he was in the NFL and the Packers were glad to be a part of this from the start.

An incredibly athletic prospect, Davenport played for UTSA and was seen as a raw project player with immense upside. The New Orleans Saints were so impressed they swung a massive trade with Green Bay to move from No. 27 to No. 14. The Packers ended up with picks 27 and 147 that year and a first-rounder in 2019 and the Saints landed Davenport.

That move failed for the Saints who ended up with 21.5 sacks in five seasons from Davenport — and nine of those were in 2021. Despite a massive decline the following year (26 tackles and 0.5 sacks in 14 games), the Minnesota Vikings paid Davenport $13 million for one season.

He suited up for just four games and produced seven tackles and two sacks. That was a huge disappointment but the Detroit Lions still thought they should pay him a $6.5 million base salary with an option to make up to $10.5 million. That's quite the gamble for a player who can't stay healthy and is far from consistent when he is on the field.

1. Vikings Replacing Kirk Cousins with Sam Darnold

We can make all the Kirk Cousins jokes we want but in the end, he's a very good quarterback who always gives his team a shot at winning. Green Bay knows this since he's gone 6-4-1 against them in his career. He started slow with the Vikings against the Pack, going 1-3-1 but since then, Minnesota has gone 4-1 against Green Bay.

Since joining the Vikings in 2018, Cousins has led them to a record of 50-37-1 and has some impressive stats. He completed 67.9 percent of his attempts for 23,265 yards with 171 touchdowns against just 55 picks. As good as he was in the regular season, people only wanted to talk about his playoff performance since the team was 1-2 during his tenure (despite his 71.7 completion percentgae for 687 yards with four touchdowns and one pick).

Despite his performance, Cousins wasn't re-signed this offseason and instead, joined the Atlanta Falcons. They suddenly look competetive in the NFC South while the Vikings are in trouble.

Right now, the No. 1 quarterback on their depth chart is Sam Darnold. The No. 3 overall pick in 2018, Darnold is now on team No. 4 and has completed 59.7 percent of his passing attempts for 12,064 yards. He has just 63 touchdowns and has thrown 56 picks in 66 career games (compared to 55 for Cousins in 88 starts for the Vikings). Darnold has also led his team to a record of 21-35 as the starter.

Unless Minnesota moves up in the draft (they're at No. 11 now), they'll lean on Darnold. Which would be fantastic, for the rest of the NFC North.

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