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Can't Miss Slants

The Party Is Over

It’s all over but the crying

See that smoke over there? That’s where the Packers crashed and burned. The off season is officially arrived for the NFC North. The Green Bay Packers suffered a heartbreaking loss to their arch enemy Seattle Seahawks. It’s hard to point at one play, one player, or a specific coaching decision that lead to such a complete collapse. In the end, does it really even matter? They lost, and squandered a terrific opportunity to add some hardware to their trophy case.
I guess the moral to this story is that it’s not easy to win in this league.
Which brings us to the off season. The division has gone through many changes over the past few years, and this off season promises to be as busy as any.

Green Bay

Let's get Krunk!
They are unarguably the class of the division, but they will be a different team when the 2015 season begins. They have some key free agents; key among them are Tramon Williams, Bryan Bulaga, and Randell Cobb. Also, with 35 year old Julius Peppers contract ballooning to $12 million, the Packers will need to determine whether or not the aging veteran has one more year in the tank. Certainly they will look at their coaching staff and see if any changes are warranted. Will Ted Thompson be active in free agency, or stay quiet until the draft?

Detroit Lions

Ouch!
The Lions showed improvement under first year head coach Jim Caldwel. The team made the playoffs for the first time since 2011, but they were still unable to notch a playoff win. They still had issues with discipline, and Mathew Stafford regressed. Notable free agents include Nick Fairly and Ndamukonk Suh. Suh will demand big dollars, and decisions will have to be made.

Minnesota Vikings

We limpin' along
The Vikings have a young team. They showed significant improvement under first year head coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings showed big strides on defense, and were able to do some nice things on offense, despite perennial pre bowler Adrian Peterson missing the entire season. Perhaps the most encouraging thing was the flashes shown by rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Keep an eye on general manager Rick Speilman. He always seems to have a few surprises up his sleeve.

Chicago Bears

Up Yours!
The Bears are the team with the most work to do. After a disappointing and downright embarrassing season, the Bears fired General manager Phil Emery, and Head Coach Marc Trestman. They have already replaced Emery with 37 year old Ryan Pace, and Hired John Fox as their new head coach. While the Bears aren’t losing a ton of players to free agency, they will need to decide whether or not to bring back Lance Briggs and Peanut Tillman. New defensive coordinator Vik Fangio should be able to improve on last years defensive performance, but there are obvious talent gaps on that side of the ball. The Bears have acquired Adam Gace as their new offensive coordinator, and his first order of business will be to decide the future of Jay Cutler.

All in all, it should be a busy off season with plenty of intriguing storylines.
Buckle up boys and girls we’re in for a bumpy ride.

2015 Free agents