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2019 ‘Best’ NFL Free Agent Period Tournament (NFC North)

March 22, 2019 3:52 PM
March 24, 2019 10:28 PM

2019 ‘Best’ NFL Free Agent Period Tournament (NFC North)

Looking strictly at the offseason moves through mid-March…the signings, lost players, trades, etc. Pitting two teams against each other and trying to evaluate which team got better through all their moves.

We’re going to go division-by-division, head-to-head tournament style, to get eight winners and then pit those finalists against each other until we get to the top AFC and NFC representatives and declare a ‘best of 2019’.

***Bears v. Lions***


Key adds: SAF Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, WR Cordarrelle Patterson, RB Mike Davis, CB Buster Skrine

Key losses: TE Daniel Brown, CB Bryce Callahan, WR Kevin White, OC Eric Kush, SAF Adrian Amos


Key adds: WR Danny Amendola, DE Trey Flowers, CB Justin Coleman, TE Jesse James, TE Logan Thomas

Key losses: none

Analysis: The Bears caught our fantasy attention with Cordarrelle and Mike Davis, but in reality – the Bears are taking a minor step back in the +/- department, so far. Maybe, just ‘breaking even’, so to speak. Losing Callahan is a hit, as is Amos. Skrine and Ha-Ha patch that up some, but it’s a downgrade. I like/love CPatt and Davis, but the defensive hits outweigh the offensive grabs from an NFL standpoint. Not a bad +/- here, but not a win on the surface.

Detroit lost no one, so that’s a plus (we’ll ignore the fact no one wanted their players). They added three ex-Patriots from 2-3 years ago, which is always a fool’s errand. Regardless, the Lions are definitely better in sheer body count terms this year with their moves.

Winner: The Lions definitely improved, impossible to go backwards not losing anyone of note. The Bears are hard to see an overall +/win overall. Detroit moves on as the winner.


***Vikings v. Packers***


Key adds: DT Shamar Stephen

Key losses: SAF Andrew Sendejo, OT Tom Compton, OC Nick Easton, RB Latavius Murray, DT Sheldon Richardson

Green Bay

Key adds: OG Billy Turner, OLB Preston Smith, SAF Adrian Amos, OLB Za’Darius Smith, OG Josh Kline

Key losses: CB Breshaud Breeland, WR Randall Cobb, OLB Clay Matthews, LB Jake Ryan

Analysis: When will anyone but some local detractors start calling the Minnesota situation for what it is/becoming? Most players do not like Mike Zimmer, the person/to play for him, and they are leaving him when they can...and the Vikings' team performance has shown the signs with erratic play/hot and cold streaks during the Zimmer era. Let’s say he’s a fantastic football mind/coach for a moment, I don’t believe that but let’s assume it for a moment – good X-O coach, but almost NO ONE wants to be there – you best see it in the way he’s going through kickers and offensive coordinators like disposable cups…because he’s bullying them/treating them like jerks, especially the kickers (and then the kickers fail under the needling, and he cuts them, signs a new one and starts the process all over again). The Vikings only get ‘players’ when they give them ridiculous money – like Kirk Cousins, who ended up not living up to the hype in year one with Zimmer. The Vikings have a Mike Zimmer problem – one that has them stuck as either ‘good one year, disappointing the next’ or just ‘disappointing’.

Several O-Lineman leaving Minnesota this year as well as the running back they lied to – paying him nicely to come in to start and then disrespecting him from day one for lesser-talented then-rookie Dalvin Cook. The Vikings’ 2019 offseason has been another step back from their disappointing 2018 win-loss record.

On the other hand, kudos to Green Bay for doing the hard work that Minnesota won’t (so far). Mike McCarthy was killing this team, radically underperforming with the best QB talent to possibly ever play the game. They were always ‘good’ (not great), so the media assigned ‘success’ to McCarthy and the Packers brass didn’t have the ___ to make the needed move in the face of a lazy, fawning national media. In comes new management, and they put up with it for 1.5 seasons and just embarrassed McCarthy – fired midseason 2018. We’ve seen some of the most inexplicable coaching hires ever in the NFL this 2019 offseason…in part, none of the teams with weird HC hirings wanted to roll with McCarthy.

Green Bay ditches their coaching issue and what do you know…several top free agents make their way to a geography a lot of players don’t want to go live. That’s the difference when you have reasonable human beings Matt LaFleur and (D-C) Mike Pettine courting the talent. They are the anti-Zimmer group.

Winner: The Vikings lost several impact players while the Packers landed four impact players and lost no one who mattered in 2018. Green Bay has a shot to win this whole free agent tournament thing we’re doing.



***Packers vs. Lions***


Green Bay

Key adds: OG Billy Turner, OLB Preston Smith, SAF Adrian Amos, OLB Za’Darius Smith

Key losses: CB Breshaud Breeland, WR Randall Cobb, OLB Clay Matthews, LB Jake Ryan


Key adds: WR Danny Amendola, DE Trey Flowers, CB Justin Coleman, TE Jesse James, TE Logan Thomas

Key losses: none

Analysis: For the price, Preston Smith is a smarter signing than Trey Flowers. In fact, just looking at the Packers four key adds vs. the Lions’ group…the Green Bay guys may be #1-4 best of the 8 total players, considering cost/value.

The Lions added useful warm bodies. The Packers landed real upside players and ace safety Adrian Amos. I don’t like teams spending big on safety, but if you’re going to do it – get the best one, at least.

Winner: Green Bay easily and they move on to the Final 8.

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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 


Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>