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NFC North Free Agency frenzy: Rivalries heat up as teams reload

Jared Goff (Lions starting quarterback) jogs onto the field.

This free agency has been one to remember in the NFC North, with all the interdivisional pickups from division rivals and intense competition between the teams in the upcoming season.

Starting with the Detroit Lions, who are coming off a spectacular season in which they won the NFC North and finished their season with a loss in the NFC Championship. Many argue that that was the year for them to win it all. 

Dan Campbell reports about the team’s attitude throughout the offseason, “If we don’t have the same hunger and the same work, which is a whole other thing once we get to the offseason, then we have no shot of getting back here.”

The Lions loaded offense is enforced with more depth with the re-signing of Donovan Peoples-Jones and the signing of pro bowler offensive tackle Dan Skipper.

The Lions focus in free agency was mainly defensive. The Lions picked up DJ Reader from Cincinnati and Marcus Davenport, the former Viking. These signings will allow the Lions to stand out as one of the top rushing defenses in the NFL.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Lions have focused on the offensive line with the signings of pro bowl offensive guard Kevin Zeitler, Graham Glasgow, and tackle Dan Skipper. These signings will help protect Jared Goff and give him more time to throw the ball, allowing the Lions to open up their playbook and gain big yards. 

These signings will help the Lions with their plan to return to the playoffs. They have made it clear that they have their sights set on Super Bowl LIX. 

The Bears get hyped before a game. (

Moving onto the Chicago Bears, they have been at the bottom of the division for a while now, but they seem to have promise in the upcoming season.

The Bears traded their quarterback Justin Fields, sending him to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a sixth round pick. This almost guarantees they will pick up Caleb Williams with their first overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, who they hope will lead their franchise to success in the upcoming years. 

Trying to get the rookie quarterback some weapons, the Bears traded with the Chargers for veteran Keenan Allen. Having an experienced receiver will make up for the lack of experience at quarterback. 

Former Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and all-star receiver Justin Jefferson jog off the field. (

After a disappointing season riddled with injuries, the Minnesota Vikings look to bounce back in the upcoming season.

The Vikings have been making big moves in this free agency, starting with the loss of their quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins went to the Falcons shortly after becoming a free agent. They have signed the unproven quarterback Sam Darnold as a bridge player. 

Kevin O’Connell talks about the loss of Cousins, “As much as I would have maybe liked to have Kirk here, the right thing moving forward for our team is where we are today.”

The Vikings later traded with the Falcons for another first round pick, now holding the 11th and 23rd overall picks. This leads to a potential trade-up in the draft to pick up their franchise quarterback. This would be the first time in program history that the Vikings pick up a quarterback in round one of the draft. 

Along with the draft pick, former Packers running back Aaron Jones has signed with the Vikings. This is a considerable upgrade over their former running back, who rushed for zero touchdowns the entire season. 

The Vikings have also been making some pickups defensively, including outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel and linebacker Blake Cashman. These two players will help improve the Vikings’ defense, both in passing and rushing defense. 

Former Packers running back Aaron Jones gains huge yardage. (

Coming off a shockingly good season, the Packers continue to build around Jordan Love. 

Though they lost one of their all-star running backs, the Packers signed former All-American Raider Josh Jacobs. This pickup will help keep their rushing game supreme. 

Defensively, the Packers signed former Giant Xavier Mckinney to a 4-year deal. He will pair with all-star corner Jaire Alexander to lead their secondary. 

The Packers have had a relatively quiet free agency so far, but the new signings will definitely help the program in this upcoming season. 

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