The NFC North took part in a couple of notable trades this offseason, with the Minnesota Vikings sending Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills. With Diggs no longer in the picture, the Vikings hope rookie Justin Jefferson can be the No. 2 guy alongside Adam Thielen.
In an attempt to light a fire under Mitch Trubisky, the Chicago Bears of the NFC North acquired Nick Foles from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Given his previous experience with Matt Nagy, Foles is expected to win the starting job this offseason.
As for the Detroit Lions, they granted Darius Slay’s request and traded him to the Philadelphia Eagles, out of the NFC North but still within the NFC. Following the trade involving Slay, the Lions signed Desmond Trufant and selected Jeffrey Okudah with the No. 3 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Green Bay Packers had a bit of a disappointing offseason on paper, failing to do much to improve the roster around Aaron Rodgers. Nevertheless, all of the NFC North teams could still have moves that are in the works this offseason.
Taking that into account, let’s take a look at one player each NFC North team could trade before the 2020 NFL season.
Chicago Bears — Adam Shaheen
Earlier this offseason, the Bears signed Jimmy Graham to a two-year, $16 million deal in free agency. In addition to Graham’s signing, Chicago also added Demetrius Harris and rookie Cole Kmet to the offense.
As a result of the tight ends they added this offseason, the Bears could basically fill out their 53-man roster with just tight ends. With that in mind, Adam Shaheen could be on his way out of Chicago and the NFC North.
Back in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Bears selected Shaheen in the second round, nicknaming him ‘Baby Gronk’ due to his size and athleticism. Injuries have prevented him from producing, accumulating just 26 receptions in three seasons. Still, a team could take a chance on Shaheen by trading for him this offseason.
Detroit Lions — Da’Shawn Hand
In one of the feel-good stories in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Lions selected Julian Okwara in the third round of the draft. Of course, Detroit has Romeo Okwara on the roster, who is Julian’s brother.
Besides reuniting the Okwara brothers, the Lions have Trey Flowers and Austin Bryant at their edge positions, making Detroit a team with a loaded defensive front in the NFC North. Provided that, Da’Shawn Hand could be a cap casualty for Detroit in training camp or preseason.
Instead of releasing him, the Lions could possibly see if Hand could net them a late-round draft pick. Just two years ago, Hand was able to tally three sacks and two forced fumbles in his rookie season in Detroit.
Green Bay Packers — Jamaal Williams
The Packers, more than any other NFC North team, turned some heads in the 2020 NFL Draft when they traded up to select Jordan Love with the No. 26 pick. Love, a big-arm quarterback out of Utah State, was seemingly taken to be the heir apparent to Rodgers.
After taking Love in the first round, Green Bay would draft AJ Dillon in the second round, even though they already have Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. That was an NFC North head-scratcher. However, with Dillon’s arrival, Williams’ future with the team is now in jeopardy.
Last season, Williams was able to contribute 713 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns while sharing touches with Jones. With Williams entering the final year of his rookie contract, the Packers could try to unload him for a late-round draft pick.
Minnesota Vikings — Tajae Sharpe
Once again, the Vikings decided to part with Diggs after he became upset with his role in Minnesota. It didn’t take long for the Vikings to replace him in the NFC North, selecting Jefferson in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Along with Jefferson and Thielen, Minnesota deploys a receiving corps with Olabisi Johnson, Tajae Sharpe, and Chad Beebe, which is not exceptional in the NFC North. Beyond Jefferson, the Vikings added K.J. Osborn in the fifth round and signed Quartney Davis as an undrafted rookie.
All that being said, Sharpe could be the odd-man-out despite signing with the team earlier this offseason. Given how his career has gone thus far with the Tennessee Titans, Sharpe wouldn’t net anything more than a late-round draft pick.