Bears GM Ryan Poles said he wants to put the best pieces around QB Justin Fields, but also is being mindful about roster construction when adding pieces to the franchise.
“I want to give him everything I possibly can, but you still have to construct an entire team. You can’t go blank in one area and then just load up in one area,” Poles said via PFT. “We’re always going to be aggressive to get him the tools that he needs to be successful, it’s just the timing and the talent level and the cap situation, all of those are going to dictate when we can go and when we can’t go. But I think what we’ve done so far is at least establish a little bit of growth in the roster, plus the scheme with the coaching, I see him getting better even from what we did right now.”
When asked about the Lions potentially missing free-agent opportunities, GM Brad Holmes responded that they are taking time to develop their players instead of signing costly veterans.
“I understand that, and it’s totally fair,” Holmes said, via Chris Burke of The Athletic. “I’ve said it all along: We had a plan, and we stuck to it. … I talked to you guys at the end of the season about it, just we kind of held back from adding all these veteran free agents to maybe help us get another win or so, and we kind of took the time to develop. Well, I do think that plan started to crystalize as the season progressed, and I think it ended on a good note. So I totally understand, especially from our fans’ perspective, that you say, ‘Look, man, three-win team, why are you bringing back the same players?’ But as much work as we put into the production that those players had in our system, and then having the continuity with our coaching staff coming back as well, there is a lot of optimism for that. And it’s still being aggressive.”
As for Jared Goff remaining their starting quarterback, Holmes said they still have “a lot of confidence” in Goff.
“Obviously, the quarterback position is extremely critical to any team’s success,” Holmes said. “That goes without saying. But, again, we’ve got a lot of confidence in Jared, and we’re all about putting him in the best position to succeed. If we do that, with the confidence we have with him and, like we talked about, the continuity we have coming back with not only the receivers but the coaching staff, offensive line, we’re very confident in Jared and what he can do.”
Holmes wouldn’t rule out Detroit potentially selecting a quarterback at No. 2 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, but they are eying “multiple players at multiple positions.”
“I would say this at the No. 2 pick: There’s multiple players at multiple positions that, if we turn the card in today, we could turn that card in today and sleep well at night,” Holmes said. “That’s a testament to everybody in our building, our personnel department.”
The Vikings have made a handful of moves this offseason but it’s mostly been to replace departing players one-for-one, i.e signing DT Harrison Phillips to replace DT Michael Pierce. The biggest change has been hiring new HC Kevin O’Connell, which makes it a natural leap to assume Minnesota is betting on the 36-year-old O’Connell being a wunderkind of sorts that leads the team to a big leap forward in 2022.
“I don’t really look at it like that, to be honest with you,” O’Connell said via the Athletic’s Chad Graff. “I kind of look at it like I came in with an independent eye. I studied this roster a lot before even arriving here. And then you come in and see that this game comes down to little things and little details sometimes — execution by some of the players you’re talking about, no question. But I’m excited about trying to give these guys an opportunity in all three phases to go out and feel really good about what we’re doing schematically and put it together piece by piece this spring.”