NFC North Round-Up: Recapping the First Days of Free Agency

The NFL free agency period is in full-swing, and many moves have been made across the league. One of the more active divisions in the league so far has been the NFC North, and today, we’re going to take some time to do a quick recap of everything that has happened over the past few days across the division.

Bears Are Big Spenders

Dec 4, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles looks on before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

To nobody’s surprise, the Chicago Bears have been the big spenders to this point in free agency. They landed a pair of top linebackers from this free agency class by coming to deals with both T.J. Edwards and Tremaine Edmunds.

Edmunds, in particular, was a big get for Chicago as he signed a 4-year/$72 million contract with the Bears. Another huge signing for the Bears was IOL Nate Davis, who should help solidify the interior offensive line for Chicago.

Overall, even after swinging a blockbuster trade to secure WR DJ Moore, the Bears went into free agency with the largest amount of cap space in the league, and they have spent it on a few big-time needs.

Lions Sneakily Land Big Pickups

Top Free Agent CB Cam Sutton
Oct 2, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton (20) takes the field against the New York Jets during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. The Jets won 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears may have made the most headlines over the past week, especially among the four teams in the NFC North, but the Detroit Lions have sneakily landed a few big names as well.

First and foremost, they improved their defense by snatching CB Cam Sutton (yours truly’s top free agent for the Vikings) on a 3-year/$33 million deal. Additionally, they landed RB David Montgomery, who will form a strong duo with D’Andre Swift in Detroit’s backfield.

The Lions were one of the league’s biggest surprises by going 9-8 in 2022, and they seem committed to making sure that they improve upon that record in 2023.

Aaron Rodgers Makes His Decision

Aaron Rodgers
Jan 8, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks off the field following the game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

After months (honestly years) of waiting for Aaron Rodgers to make a definitive decision regarding his future, we finally got it this week. During another appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers made it public that he wants to be traded and play for the New York Jets in 2023.

This forces the Green Bay Packers into a precarious position where they need to trade their franchise QB while also having virtually no leverage. It also means the Jordan Love era is officially here in Green Bay.

Vikings Improve Defensively

ESPN Lists Cardinals CB as "Best Fit" for the Vikings in Free Agency
Sep 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrates after scoring on a 59-yard fumble recovery in overtime against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings had one big need this offseason: getting faster and younger on the defensive side of the ball. So far, they’re doing just that in free agency.

On Monday, they agreed to a contract with former Saints EDGE Marcus Davenport, and on Tuesday, they made a deal with former Cardinals CB Byron Murphy.

With Patrick Peterson already out the door, and Za’Darius Smith potentially soon to follow, these players look like the next in line to be starters for Minnesota next season.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.