To date, the biggest news in Vikings Country is the investment that has been made in Mike Wallace, essentially taking on the same contract they would have paid Greg Jennings to mentor the Vikings’ young receivers. Jennings remains unsigned and perhaps the Vikings may consider bringing him back at a reduced salary.
In other divisions, especially in the AFC East, an arms war is building. The Pats are the defending champs and the Dolphins, Jets and Bills are taking it seriously.
Buffalo has added RB LeSean McCoy, WR Percy Harvin, TE Charles Clay, FB Jerome Felton and QB Matt Cassel. If nothing else, they must have respected the Vikings blueprint so a certain extent. Their major additions have been to bring offense to a team that has a strong defense already in place and needing to improve the “other” side of the ball.
Not to be outdone, Miami made the biggest splash, signing DT Ndamukong Suh to a record-setting free agent deal. But they weren’t done there, bringing in WR Kenny Stills and TE Jordan Cameron to appease the offensive coaches for trading away Mike Wallace.
From the “Don’t Forget Us” Department, the Jets have added the Over-30 Fab Four – CB Darrelle Revis, WR Brandon Marshall, CB Antonio Cromartie and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
If nothing else, they’ve put the Pats on notice. Let’s dance!
The NFC North?
Not so much.
For now, let’s throw out an analytic that doesn’t take into account re-signings. Players re-signed are players the organization has been and continues to be committed to. They’re known commodities.
Under this metric, it’s only a matter of who has done less than who has done more in the NFC North – while simultaneous mortar fire in the AFC East is raining down on those boys from Boston. As the NFL offseason continues to grind a little more slowly, here is the criteria for the four NFC North teams in terms of offseason assessment. There are three components to it – players added, players lost and players from the 2014 roster as of yet unsigned.
You enter with control test logistics. You run the simulations. You quantify the data as the results roll in.
Re-signings can’t be underestimated. Green Bay making sure Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga didn’t cash checks away from the Citizens State Bank of Green Bay is huge for their franchise. But, every ‘Sconny with a Favre jersey not yet ready to pull it out of the closet assumed that Cobb and Bulaga would be back. You can’t let them get away.
No, these are the business pages of the NFL magazine. Who stays? Who goes? Who is waiting to see what happens?
To date, this is the data for the four teams of the NFC North.
MinnesotaAdditions – WR Mike Wallace, QB Shaun Hill, RB DuJuan Harris.
Losses – WR Greg Jennings, QB Matt Cassel, G Charlie Johnson, QB Christian Ponder, LB Jasper Brinkley, FB Jerome Felton, G Vladmir Ducasse.
Free Agents In Limbo – Corey Wootton.
ChicagoAdditions – LB Pernell McPhee, S Antrel Rolle, WR Eddie Royal, G Vladmire Ducasse, LS Thomas Gafford.
Losses – WR Brandon Marshall, DT Stephen Paea, S Chris Conte.
Free Agents In Limbo – CB Charles Tillman, LB Lance Briggs, C Brian De La Puente, G Eben Britton, LB Darryl Sharpton.
DetroitAdditions – DT Haloti Ngata, DT Tyrunn Walker.
Losses – DT Ndamukong Suh, DT Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, LB Justin Durant, FB Jed Collins, OT Garrett Reynolds.
Free Agents In Limbo – DT C.J. Mosley, G Rob Sims, C Dominic Raiola, LB Ashlee Palmer.
Green BayAdditions – None.
Losses – CB Tramon Williams, CB Davon House, LB Brad Jones, RB DuJuan Harris.
Free Agents In Limbo – DT B.J. Raji, LB A.J. Hawk, FB John Kuhn, WR Jarrett Boykin, QB Matt Flynn, LB Jamari Lattimore, DT Letroy Guion.
Do the math for yourself. From the rosters fans of NFC North teams had in 2014 to where they currently stand, do your own analysis on who is faring the best in the offseason of 2015.
The NFL is called The Shield. In fact, it is a constantly morphing living organism that thrives in its own environment. That doesn’t matter to the fans. Players come and go. Fans stay. Whether it’s in what passes for downtown Green Bay, a college campus in a place called Dinkytown, a stadium that has yet to be fully corporately corrupted that honors the men (and much after it was named the women) of the U.S. military or the stadium named after the grandfather of automobiles/the godfather of “never been to a Super Bowl,” in their hearts and minds they’re in God’s Country when they watch their favorite team play.
It’s been closing in on three months since three of the four teams from the NFC North bid a not-so-fond farewell to 2014. Laugh at the Packers another time. Since the start of changing things up officially started March 10, if you’re a fan of one of the teams in the NFC North, in your opinion, where does the ledger sheet sit?
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