News From The North #7

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Welcome to the seventh edition of News From The North! This is your destination for updates on the NFC North, released the first and third Saturday of every month. This report includes game recaps, roster moves, coaching changes, injury reports, pregame analysis and more. Since our last edition, free agency has begun, and it has been exciting, to say the least.

The Minnesota Vikings:

Roster Moves/Coaching Changes:

The Vikings have made a couple of changes to the roster, and have re-signed some key players to the team.

Minnesota has re-signed LB Anthony Barr. Despite initial reports that he was going to sign with the New York Jets, he changed his mind and has signed a new five-year contract with the Vikings.

The team has brought back DT Shamar Stephen. Stephen played for Minnesota from 2014-17, but left last year to play with the Seahawks. Details on his signing can be found here (note, this article was published before Barr decided against going to New York).

One of the more prominent signings has been the restructuring of DE Everson Griffen’s contract. Drafted by the team in 2010, Griffen has spent his entire pro career in Minnesota. Despite taking several weeks off last season to address mental health issues, Griffen returned in full form and continued to demonstrate his absolute dominance on the field. His new contract with the team increases the available cap space and secures his future with the Vikings for several more years.

Lastly, RB Latavius Murray has left the twin cities for New Orleans. His contract was re-worked in 2017 making him a free agent this offseason.

Up Next:

Free agency goes on, but I wouldn’t expect any other signings this offseason, with the possible exception of TE Kyle Rudolph having a restructuring like Griffen or perhaps a low-cost kicker. Most likely we will have to wait until the draft for new talent.

The Chicago Bears:

Roster Moves/Coaching Changes:

Quite a number of changes have happened since our last issue, both before and after the beginning of free agency.

  • Released LB Sam Acho. Acho had been with the team since 2015.
  • Signed K Chris Blewitt
  • Re-signed TE Ben Braunecker. Braunecker has been with the team since 2016.
  • Signed OL Ted Larsen. Larsen previously played for the Bears in 2016.
  • Signed WR Cordarelle Patterson. Patterson returns to the NFC North, having previously played for the Vikings from 2013-16.
  • Signed RB Mike Davis
  • Signed DB Buster Skrine
  • Released K Cody Parkey. Parkey spent only one year in Chicago and had a notable issue with hitting the uprights.
  • Signed DB Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix. Dix returns to the NFC North. After spending the first four years of his pro career with Green Bay, he was traded mid-season to the Redskins.
  • Re-signed DL Nick Williams
  • Signed WR Marvin Hall

Up Next:

Chicago should cool down for a while. Currently without any draft picks in the first two rounds in the 2019 NFL Draft, it makes sense that they heavily relied on free agency to fill spots in their roster.

The Detroit Lions:

Roster Moves/Coaching Changes:

The blue and silver have been comparatively quiet, except for one notable signing.

  • Cut G T.J. Lang. Lang had played for Detroit the past two years.
  • Released CB Nevin Lawson. Lawson has spent his who pro career, five years, with the Lions.
  • Signed OL Oday Aboushi
  • Signed S Andrew Adams
  • Signed CB Justin Coleman
  • Signed DE Trey Flowers. The Patriots’ defensive end had 7.5 sacks last year and won his second Super Bowl with the team.
  • Signed TE Jesse James
  • Signed WR Danny Amendola. The former New England super-star has won two Super Bowls and has 20 career touchdowns.

Up Next:

There may be some more free agency changes in the coming weeks, but most likely Detroit is done until the draft.

The Green Bay Packers:

Roster Moves/Coaching Changes:

  • FB John Kuhn announced his retirement. Kuhn spent nine years with the Packers, and was part of their 2010 Super Bowl victory.
  • Released LB Antonio Morrison. Morrison spent only one season with the team.
  • Released LB Nick Perry. Perry was on the team since 2012, and had 24 tackles and 1.5 sacks last season.
  • Signed S Adrian Amos. Amos has spent his entire pro-career, four years, with the Bears.
  • Signed LB Preston Smith
  • Signed LB Za’Darius Smith
  • Signed OL Billy Turner

Up Next:

Green Bay has given little attention to their offense, which is surprising considering how lackluster it was last season. After losing WR Jordy Nelson to the Raiders (who has since been released this offseason), their receiving game was solely dependent on WR Davante Adams. While he performed spectacularly and earned himself a Pro Bowl appearance, Rodgers needs more weapons if the Cheeseheads are going to be playoff contenders in 2019. Expect this to be addressed in the 2019 NFL Draft.

As always, special thanks to ESPN and Pro-Football-Reference for all statistics. Please subscribe to our Patreon to get exclusive content and perks, and follow me on Twitter @AdamNelson22_ to stay up to date on all things Vikings! SKOL