NFC North Round-Up: Offseason Rumors Begin Heating Up
The NFL offseason is a time for rumors and speculation, and the NFC North division as a whole is no stranger to such topics regarding their rosters. With the offseason rumors swirling, here is one big topic of discussion surrounding each team.
Could the Bears Trade Justin Fields?
Ever since the Bears landed the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, it seemed like a done deal that they would trade that pick to a more QB-needy team. After all, Justin Fields looked like a quarterback that Chicago could build around if they put the right pieces alongside him.
However, there seem to be a few NFL GMs who aren’t convinced Chicago is committed to Fields. In fact, after watching the Senior Bowl, Jason La Canfora reported a couple days ago that “more than one” NFL general manager believes that the Bears could trade Justin Fields instead of the No. 1 overall pick.
There are a couple reasons for this. First and foremost, if the compensation package for Fields is larger than the package for the No. 1 pick, then it might be a logical conclusion that the Bears would try to maximize their draft capital in order to continue rebuilding their roster. Secondly, general manager Ryan Poles didn’t draft Fields, so he might not feel the same level of commitment to the young QB as he otherwise may have. It will certainly be an interesting offseason storyline to follow.
Might the Lions Go After Derek Carr?
This is less of a rumor that is currently being reported, and one that just makes a lot of sense to me personally. Sure, the Detroit Lions have Jared Goff right now, but they have a potential out on his contract this offseason, meaning that they could get rid of him fairly easily if they wanted to.
Derek Carr was released by the Las Vegas earlier this week, officially beginning the latest QB cycle. Carr would certainly be an upgrade at the position over Goff, and his personality feels like it would be one that matches with head coach Dan Campbell.
However, DraftKings released their odds for each team to land Carr, and they do not seem to believe that this rumor will come to fruition. Currently, the Lions are listed at +6000, behind even the Minnesota Vikings at +5500.
What in the World Happens With Aaron Rodgers?
Aaron Rodgers is supposedly heading on an “isolation retreat”, which apparently is supposed to help him decide whether or not he wants to play football in 2023, and if so, where he wants to play.
If Rodgers doesn’t play in Green Bay during the 2023 season, one landing spot that has consistently come up for him is the New York Jets. They have a number of young pieces, and they could easily free up the money to bring him in. These rumors only heated up when Nathaniel Hackett took the offensive coordinator job in New York.
Another team that could be on “Rodgers watch” is the Las Vegas Raiders. Perhaps it makes more sense for them to draft a quarterback rather than chase after an aging veteran, but Rodgers was a back-to-back MVP in the two most recent seasons that he played with Davante Adams. Green Bay has also been rumored to be interested in Darren Waller for multiple years, so it could be a logical player swap.
Is Dalvin Cook Done in Minnesota?
Dalvin Cook recorded his fourth consecutive 1000-yard rushing season in 2022, but he carries a very large cap hit in 2023 at $14.1 million. According to reports, he will be unwilling to take a pay cut this offseason, either, which could put Cook and the Vikings at a crossroads.
The Vikings already could lose Alexander Mattison in free agency this offseason, so if they also move on from Cook, that leaves them with a backfield featuring only Ty Chandler and Kene Nwangwu.
Perhaps this could make the Vikings target other running backs in free agency. One name that has come up a couple times is Samaje Perine.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.