NFC North: A look at how all four teams have fared in free agency

Posted Apr 5, 2012

Untitled Document

Here's a look at how the four teams in the NFC North have fared in free agency this offseason.

Key additions: WR, Brandon Marshall (trade), RB Michael Bush, QB Jason Campbell, WR Devin Thomas, WR/KR Eric Weems, LB/ST Blake Costanzo

Key losses: RB Marion Barber (retired), CB Zack Bowman, CB Corey Graham

Analysis: The Bears got better on offense with the additions of Marshall and Bush. In Marshall, the team has a legitimate No. 1 receiver for the first time in over a decade. The Bears were 7-3 and on their way to the playoffs before they lost quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte to injury. They won just one game the rest of the way. The additions of Campbell and Bush help with depth.

Key additions: DT Daniel Muir, C Jeff Saturday, DE Anthony Hargrove

Key losses: QB Matt Flynn, C Scott Wells

Analysis: The Packers were 15-1 last season and weren't in a situation where they had to search the free-agent market to supplement losses. All of the Packers' core pieces are intact for 2012. Muir and Hargrove add depth to the defensive line and Saturday will help fill the void of Pro Bowl center Scott Wells. The Packers re-signed tight end Jermichael Finley, which was an important move, too.

Key additions: OL Geoff Schwartz, CB Zack Bowman, CB Chris Carr, TE John Carlson

Key losses: G Steve Hutchinson (release), G Anthony Herrera (release), NT Remi Ayodele (release), TE Jim Kleinsasser (retire)

Analysis: Hutchinson has been a fixture on the Vikings' offensive line since 2006 but was a salary cap casualty this offseason. Schwartz was a free agent target of a number of teams, including the Lions. Carr should get some decent playing time on passing downs, Bowman is a terrific special teams player and Carlson can be a steady weapon for quarterback Christian Ponder. These addition won't wow anyone, but they're solid.

Key additions: DE Everette Brown, CB Jacob Lacey, FB James Bryant

Key losses: CB Eric Wright

Analysis: Much like the Packers, the Lions are a playoff team now in a position to try and hang on to their own good players. The Lions re-signed receiver Calvin Johnson to a $132 million deal and also re-signed linebacker Stephen Tulloch, left tackle Jeff Backus, quarterback Shaun Hill and a number of other free agents from last year's roster. Lacey has the potential to start at one of the cornerback spots. Brown is trying to revitalize his career in a new scheme.

Around the NFC North:

Preseason schedule for all NFC North teams
Kevin Seifert –

Bears' Drake high on potential of WR Thomas
Vaughn McClure – Tribune

Brian Urlacher wants to finish his career with the Bears
Sean Jensen – Sun Times

Driver continues upward arc, scores 26 on "Dancing with the Stars"
Duke Bobber –

S Nick Collins to meet with Packers next week about neck injury
Rob Demovsky – Press-Gazette

Hargrove could energize Packers' defense
Tyler Dunne and Bob McGinn – Journal Sentinel

Vikings 'Top 30' pre-draft invitees begin arriving
Mark Craig – Star Tribune

Vikings say all is positive with Harvin and Peterson
Dan Wiederer – Star Tribune

Vikings stadium could get second House committee hearing Thursday
Doug Belden – Pioneer Press