With the initial frenzy (if you want to call it that) of free agency over, there are still many questions that have yet to be answered in the NFC North. Are the Bears ready to part with the face of the franchise in Brian Urlacher? Has the relationship between the Lions and Cliff Avril deteriorated to the point that it looks like the once great city of Detroit? Will the Packers let Greg Jennings go to a warmer climate, leaving Aaron Rodgers with less than a top rated receiving corp? Will the Vikings let go of a tackle that helped Adrian Peterson eclipse the 2000 yard mark in Phil Loadholt?
The Bears could probably get Urlacher for a very reasonable price if the two sides can come to an agreement. Urlacher has simply suffered the abuse that comes with choosing the profession of being a professional football player. Much like Ray Lewis, Urlacher’s body may not be buying what his brain selling him. He still has the mental tenacity for the game, but his physical condition isn’t keeping up. Still, for a leadership role, the Bears would be wise to sign him up for what will very likely be the last two years of his career.
As far as Avril goes, that’s an easy question to answer. He will be gone from Detroit just like the auto industry and the rest of the city’s population.
The Jennings dilemma is much more convoluted. He might be able to get a little more money elsewhere, but he won’t end up in a destination where he is more likely to win. Of course, he already has a Super Bowl ring, so it might be time for him to focus on cashing checks.
The Vikings simply need to pay Loadholt. No, he is not elite, but the team needs to be generous. Peterson would not have come within nine yards of Breaking Eric Dickerson’s season rushing record without him. It’s important to keep one of the league’s best offensive lines in tact.