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Sunday open thread: Which NFC North team won Week 1 of free agency?

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Which team helped themselves the most for the 2019 season?

Green Bay Packers Introduce Matt LaFleur - Press Conference Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

In the NFL, it’s not just about improving every offseason. Improvement is relative. If you only improve a little bit, but everyone around you gets even better, is it even fair to say you’ve improved?

The key to making a January run is to simply win your division. Sure, there are other ways to get into the postseason, but to be absolutely sure, the goal in the offseason is to simply get better than everyone else in the division.

The Detroit Lions grabbed early headlines on Day 1 of free agency, but the Packers had a pretty impressive Day 2. And while it looked like the Minnesota Vikings were on the verge of losing half their defensive starters, they’ve managed to retain more players than expected, including a last-minute change of heart from Anthony Barr. The Bears have remained relatively quiet, but they did sign a kicker named Blewitt.

So today’s Question of the Day is:

Which NFC North team had the best Week 1 of free agency?

My answer: First let’s look at the key additions and losses thus far:

Lions key additions

  • DE Trey Flowers
  • TE Jesse James
  • CB Justin Coleman

Lions Key losses

  • DE Ezekiel Ansah (probably)
  • S Glover Quin
  • G T.J. Lang

Packers key additions

  • EDGE Za’Darius Smith
  • EDGE Preston Smith
  • S Adrian Amos
  • OL Billy Turner

Packers key losses

  • LB Jake Ryan
  • LB Clay Matthews (probably)

Vikings key additions

  • (None, but retained Anthony Barr and Everson Griffen)

Vikings key losses

  • RB Latavius Murray
  • DT Sheldon Richardson

Bears key additions

  • RB Mike Davis
  • CB Buster Skrine
  • WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson
  • S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Bears key losses

  • WR Kevin White
  • WR Josh Bellamy
  • S Adrian Amos
  • CB Bryce Callahan

Overall, it certainly seems like the Packers and Lions had the most significant moves, which makes sense considering the two finished third and fourth in the division. The Lions have had more significant losses (so far), but it could be argued that Detroit landed the bigger free agents.

That’s not to underscore the other two teams. Retaining Barr and Griffen was huge for the Vikings, and the Bears did a pretty nice job mitigating some of the minor damage done by their free agent losses.

Still, I think you have to put this between the Lions and Packers. It’s still obviously very early in free agency, but I’d probably have to give the Packers a slight edge here. They’ve added two big pieces to their pass rush and—in my opinion—upgraded their safety position by going from Clinton-Dix to Amos, which also weakens their NFC North rivals.

It’s very close between those two, and I don’t think any team in the division got significantly worse yet, but I’ll give the slight edge to Green Bay.

Your turn.

Poll

Which NFC North team won Week 1 of free agency?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Lions
    (1626 votes)
  • 16%
    Packers
    (356 votes)
  • 3%
    Vikings
    (73 votes)
  • 4%
    Bears
    (108 votes)
2163 votes total Vote Now