Around The League: NFC North

Unlike the two best QBs in this division, we are going to take a shot… at making you care about, probably, the worst division in football. Anything other than a Packers’ division title would be a major surprise. You like that? I bet you do, cheeseheads! Let’s dive right in. 

1. Who replaces Devante Adams in Green Bay? Now, this off-season saw A LOT of movement across the league, but no two moves symbolized the player movement that is starting to resemble the NBA than Pat Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers both seeing their favorite targets jettisoned to really warm places. No, they didn’t get sent to Hel, but Vegas and Miami respectively. The Chiefs opted to take one of Rodgers’s weapons and sign JuJu Smith Schuster to attempt to replace Hill’s production. The Packers? Armed with two first-round picks, they elected to not draft a WR for Mr. State Farm. I wonder how he took that news! No, instead they added stud WR Romeo Doubs, who I think is going to be in the running for offensive rookie of the year. They also bring back Allen Lazard, who folks have been waiting to blow up for lord knows how long now. My money is on the rookie to be the next in the long line of non-first-round WRs who we ask ourselves “how’d they fall out of the first.”

2. When does Justin Jefferson get paid? The former LSU standout has engineered the best start to a career for any WR ever. Yes, you read that right. However, with so many WRs finding their way to their preferred locations, the longer his contract situation drags out (he’s eligible for a new deal after this season), the louder the noise gets that he will force his way out of Minnesota and away from a QB who is one virus away from missing a month or, you know, dying. His contract should make him the highest-paid WR in the NFL before the Bengals make their young stud WR the highest-paid WR in the NFL in three seasons. The Vikings have a new GM and HC, and could they prioritize trading him to recoup assets that let them land their franchise signal caller? We will see! 

3. Jared Goff didn’t see the Lions draft his replacement (Malik Willis would’ve been an excellent choice), and instead, he saw them get him arguably the best WR and pass rusher in college football to a scrappy team that would not give up in games last year despite very clear talent deficits on both sides of the ball. Now Goff enters his second year in Detroit, but let’s be clear: he’s probably not long for the Motor City, where the Lions have excess draft capital to address the Joey Harrington-size hole they’ve had at QB. Do they swing for the fences and go up and get their guy, or will they be bad enough to where they don’t have to do that? Probably the latter, but at least Goff has some talent at WR. 

4. Whereas Kirk Cousins has two talented WRs to throw to, and Aaron Rodgers saw his team add two talented (if one really raw) prospects in the draft, and Jared Goff now has Jameson Williams to go with Amon-Ra St. Brown and TJ Hockensen, the Chicago Bears have not a soul for Justin Fields to throw to. It’s like the new Bears General Manager found the manual on what not to do for your young QB where Bill Belicheck left it, and said “this feels like a great idea to replicate.” Justin Fields saw the Jets get Zach Wilson Breece Hall, Garrett Wilson, CJ Uzomah, Tyler Conklin, and Laken Tomlinson. He saw the Jaguars get Evan Engram, Christian Kirk, and Brandon Scherff for Trevor Lawrence. He saw the Texans, enablers of a nasty man, give Davis Mills Dameon Pierce and John Metchie III. Ok, that’s not that great, but it’s better than what Fields has. With Denzel Mims, Sterling Shepherd, and Odell Beckham Jr available via different routes, the Bears would be smart to acquire one of them so they can assess what they have in Fields. 

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