NFC Notes: Justin Fields, Jeff Hafley, Matt LaFleur, Bears, Packers


When appearing on ESPN 1000’s Kap and J.Hood, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer said he thinks the Bears will trade Justin Fields ahead of free agency given there will be fewer trade options as we get deeper into the offseason. 

“In this case, I don’t think you necessarily need the premium to move Justin Fields before the start of free agency,” Breer said. “The reason why is because if you do wait til the end of March or the beginning of April, whatever it is, there are going to be far fewer teams that have a quarterback opening.”

Breer feels Chicago needs to have some urgency on getting a deal done for Fields if they want to get the best possible offer. 

“I think that’s why, if you’re the Bears, there’s some urgency to get moving on this,” Breer said. “Because if you’re going to get the best return, the best return is probably going to be available right now rather than three or four or five weeks from now.”


Packers HC Matt LaFleur said he had a Zoom call with new offensive assistant Sean Mannion prior to his interview with the Bears and is glad they lured him away from Chicago. 

“He was getting ready to go interview for Chicago. It was actually during the NFC Championship Game, which I really didn’t care to watch, I jumped on a Zoom call with him in the second half, and he showed me what he was going to present, and I told him, ‘Wow, that’s pretty good, I think you should come up to Green Bay right when you’re doing when that interview.’ I’m surprised they let him out of the building. They tried to get him, but I guess we had more to offer,” Lafleur said, via PackersWire. 

LaFleur recalled being Mannion’s offensive coordinator on the Rams in 2017, where Mannion told him he’d eventually get into coaching.  

“I love his past experience. I’ve coached him before in LA. I always figured he was going to go down this route. Matter of fact, when we played him earlier in the year, he told me he was going to get into coaching, and I said, alright, well, let me know when you’re going to become a coach,” LaFleur said.

LaFleur always appreciated how Mannion prepared as a quarterback and was critical as a backup to Jared Goff in Los Angeles.  

“He’s always been a guy I’ve always respected how he went about his process, how he prepared for games, how he helped Jared [Goff] in that situation being a backup for us,” LaFleur said.


Packers’ new DC Jeff Hafley considers Green Bay to be the “mecca of the football world” and it feels surreal to be a part of the organization. 

“As a guy that grew up loving football, it’s the Green Bay Packers,” Hafley said, via Steve Megargee of the Associated Press. “This is like the mecca of the football world to me and probably to most people who grew up loving football. Just being here and driving into Lambeau every day, it still feels surreal.”

Hafley reflected on his time as Boston College’s head coach at the start of the global pandemic, the opening of the transfer portal, and Name Image and Likeness deals. 

“When I got the BC job, COVID hit,” Hafley said. “I got to know my team over Zoom. We had masks on in practice and that was way different than anything I’d ever experienced. Then the next year the transfer portal came in, which was like, all right, now I have to recruit players, but I also have to keep the guys that are on my team from leaving. There’s no contracts, so you recruit a guy and develop a guy, and all of a sudden he can leave. And then came paying players, NIL, so it was a storm basically, since I got the head job, of things that kept getting thrown at you. But you do the best you can and you adapt. Certainly college football has changed and I do think that — I’m not going to get on a soapbox here today — but what I will say is I that do think there needs some things to change. It’s still a great game and there’s still great coaches, but it changed a lot since I started that job.”

Packers HC Matt LaFleur is confident their team will adjust easily to Hafley’s system. 

“Really excited what he’s going to bring,” LaFleur said. “Certainly it will be a different scheme, but I think it’s one that will be easy to adjust to with the personnel that we have.”

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