NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings



The Bears’ trade for QB Nick Foles was made official this week, and now Chicago officially has an alternative to incumbent starter Mitchell Trubisky if the former No. 2 overall pick struggles again. While many have already written Trubisky’s obituary as the Bears starter given Foles’ resume and history with Bears HC Matt Nagy, some in the NFL aren’t writing off Trubisky yet, pointing to the fact Chicago picked Foles over more established options to challenge the guy GM Ryan Pace traded up one pick for. 

“The point is, they want their guy to be successful,” an anonymous NFL executive said via the Athletic’s Mike Sando. “But they want to have some protection because he hasn’t gotten over the hump and there will be a lot of pressure if it doesn’t happen this year. You feel more comfortable bringing in a backup you think you can win with as opposed to bringing in Cam Newton or Jameis Winston to unseat your guy. Foles has the trust of the head coach, knows how to support the starter and will come in there and show Trubisky the way a little bit, whereas if you have Cam in there, you are saying you are done with Trubisky.”

  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Foles’ restructured contract with Chicago still includes $21 million guaranteed with a total of $24 million available over three years. 
  • Foles has $6 million in incentives each year, with each incentive earned also escalating his base salary the next year by the same amount. 
  • By reaching certain performance incentives, Foles can trigger player options in 2021 and 2022. 


  •’s Justin Rogers says it seems more likely the Lions are zeroing in on Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah if they stay at No. 3 overall than Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons, as they did more to address linebacker in free agency than cornerback. 
  • Rogers doesn’t think the Lions will trade LB Christian Jones despite adding a number of players at his position, as they just signed him to an extension last season. However, he doesn’t rule it out since they moved on from both S Quandre Diggs and DT Damon Harrison shortly after giving each new deals. 



  • Per the Athletic’s Mike Sando, NFL evaluators praised the return the Vikings got for WR Stefon Diggs, particularly in light of the DeAndre Hopkins trade. 
  • It also did not go unnoticed that Minnesota elected to extend QB Kirk Cousins despite the plethora of available quarterbacks this offseason. 
  • The Vikings had a formal interview at the Combine with Utah CB Jaylon Johnson. (Darren Wolfson)
  • Vikings RB Ameer Abdullah‘s one-year, $1.047 million deal includes a $137,500 signing bonus and a base salary of $910,000. (Aaron Wilson)
  • Vikings C Brett Jones‘ one-year, $1 million deal includes a signing bonus of $90,000 and a $910,000 base salary. 
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