2007 Offseason Needs
NFC North
Chicago Bears (Last Year: 12-4).
Season Summary:
In case you missed it, I was the idiot who predicted that Rex Grossman would be the Super Bowl MVP. I guess he was in a sense -- he was extremely valuable to the Colts, who probably should have picked off about eight of his passes.
Unrestricted Free Agents:
WR Justin Gage, G Ruben Brown, DT Ian Scott, DT Alfonso Boone, LB Lance Briggs, S Todd Johnson, S Cameron Worrell.
Restricted Free Agents:
TE Gabe Reid.

Cap Status (as of 2/15): $16.8 million under.

Offseason Needs:
  1. Quarterback: This is a no-brainer. Grossman is terrible, and it's not like Brian Griese is any better. In fact, the two are the same person; they're just wearing different jerseys. Chicago needs to make a serious effort to pursue Jeff Garcia this offseason.
  2. Re-Sign Lance Briggs: Lance Briggs is going to command a lot of money this offseason. Luckily, Chicago has the capital to re-sign him. The team must do everything in its power to make that happen. Briggs franchised.
  3. Guard: Ruben Brown, who currently occupies the left guard position, is thinking about retirement. Even if he remains on the team, he's starting to become a liability at the age of 35. Re-signed Ruben Brown; drafted Josh Beekman.
  4. Defensive Tackle: Depth will be needed if both Ian Scott and Alfonso Boone sign with other teams. Signed Anthony Adams.
  5. Safety: I'd like to see the Bears find a better backup for the oft-injured Mike Brown. Traded for Adam Archuleta; drafted Kevin Payne.
  6. Tight End: There's room for improvement here, but it's not a serious issue. Desmond Clark isn't spectacular, but he gets the job done. Drafted Greg Olsen.
  7. Running Back: With Thomas Jones gone, the Bears will need a reliable running back behind Cedric Benson. Drafted Garrett Wolfe.

Analysis: The Bears have a great shot of getting back to the Super Bowl if they're serious about improving. And by that, I mean upgrading the quarterback position. I don't care if he's inexperienced; Grossman is not the answer.


Green Bay Packers (Last Year: 8-8).
Season Summary:
Believe it or not, but Brett Favre was recently asked if he planned on retiring. Here were some of his responses: "Don't count on it," "Cannot predict now," "Better not tell you now," "Ask again later," "Concentrate and ask again," "My sources say no," "Outlook not so good," "Reply hazy, try again."
Unrestricted Free Agents:
QB Todd Bouman, RB Ahman Green, TE David Martin, TE Donald Lee, C Tyson Walter, DT Kenderick Allen, OLB Ben Taylor, OLB Tracy White.
Restricted Free Agents:
DE Cullen Jenkins.
Potential Cap Casualties:
WR Robert Ferguson, TE Bubba Franks.

Cap Status (as of 2/15): $24.1 million under.

Offseason Needs:
  1. Running Back: Ahman Green, an unrestricted free agent, just turned 30. It would be foolish for Green Bay to re-sign him, so look for the team to search for a new running back elsewhere. If Marshawn Lynch slips to No. 16, the Packers shouldn't think twice. Drafted Brandon Jackson and DeShawn Wynn.
  2. Outside Linebacker: Tell me whom you think the weakest link is: A.J. Hawk, Nick Barnett, Brady Poppinga. Here's a hint: It's the guy who sounds like he's a Looney Tunes character. How great would stealing Lance Briggs away from Chicago be? Drafted Desmond Bishop.
  3. Tight End: Bubba Franks seems to be getting worse every year. Green Bay should go after Zach Miller or Greg Olsen in the second round of April's draft. Drafted Clark Harris.
  4. Wide Receiver: The Packers need a solid No. 3 behind Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. I have them taking Steve Smith in the third round. Drafted David Clowney and James Jones.
  5. Defensive End: If restricted free agent Cullen Jenkins leaves, I'd like to see Green Bay trade Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and find someone better to play across from Aaron Kampman, who had 15 sacks in 2006.
  6. Safety: The Packers can do better than Marquand Manuel at strong safety. Drafted Aaron Rouse.
  7. Cornerback: If Green Bay wants to contend for a Super Bowl, it'll need to improve its depth at cornerback. Signed Frank Walker.
  8. Fullback: William Henderson just turned 36, meaning Green Bay could be looking for a new fullback sometime soon. Justin Griffith would be a perfect fit.

Analysis: It's a bit early to say this, but the Packers are my sleeper team for 2007. They don't have many needs, and they have the cap room to fix the ones they have. We'll see what they do in the next few months.


Minnesota Vikings (Last Year: 6-10).
Season Summary:
Remember when the Vikings opened the season with victories over Washington and Carolina, and actually looked like a team destined to qualify for the playoffs? No? Me neither.
Unrestricted Free Agents:
FB Joey Goodspeed, WR Travis Taylor, WR Bethel Johnson, C Jason Whittle, DT Ross Kolodziej, OLB Jason Glenn, MLB Napoleon Harris, S Tank Williams.
Restricted Free Agents:
RB Artose Pinner, TE Richard Owens, G Anthony Herrera, DE Darrion Scott, DT Spencer Johnson, OLB Rod Davis.
Potential Cap Casualties:
QB Brad Johnson, OT Mike Rosenthal, CB Fred Smoot, S Dwight Smith.

Cap Status (as of 2/14): $12.2 million under.

Offseason Needs:
  1. At Least Two Wide Receivers: Here's how bad the situation is: As of the middle of February, the Vikings have two receivers under contract. One is Billy McMullen, who has yet to accomplish a single thing in his brief career. The other is Troy Williamson, a complete bust. Minnesota needs a complete makeover at wide out. Robert Meachem is a realistic option in the second round. Drafted Sidney Rice, Aundrae Allison, Bobby Wade and Chandler Williams; drafted Todd Lowber.
  2. Defensive End: While the Vikings boasted the top run defense in the NFL, they simply could not get to the quarterback; no player on the team had more than 5 sacks. I currently have them selecting Gaines Adams in the first round. Drafted Brian Robison.
  3. Quarterback: I'm not sold on Tarvaris Jackson, but it seems like the Vikings are. I predict that Minnesota will be searching for a quarterback this time next year. Drafted Tyler Thigpen.
  4. Tight End: Minnesota will need a pass-catching tight end now that Jermaine Wiggins is out of the picture. Signed Visanthe Shiancoe.
  5. Safety: Dwight Smith didn't get the job done last year, so I'd like to see the Vikings go after Ken Hamlin. Signed Mike Doss.
  6. Guard: Artis Hicks is clearly the weak link on the offensive line. Someone like Chris Gray would be a nice addition via free agency.
  7. Cornerback: Depth will be needed behind Antonie Winfield and Cedric Griffin, especially if Fred Smoot hits the road. Drafted Marcus McCauley.

Analysis: With $30 million in cap space, the Vikings have a lot of potential to improve. That potential could be hindered, however, if Tarvaris Jackson doesn't pan out.


Detroit Lions (Last Year: 3-13).
Season Summary:
In a parity-laden league, it's nice to know that you can always depend on a handful of teams to be amongst the NFL's worst every single year. But if you want a quick summary of Detroit's season, check this out: CLICK HERE.
Unrestricted Free Agents:
RB Arlen Harris, RB Aveion Cason, FB Cory Schlesinger, WR Corey Bradford, G Rick DeMulling, C Tyrone Hopson, DE Corey Smith, DT Cory Redding, CB Jamar Fletcher, S Terrence Holt, S Jon McGraw.
Restricted Free Agents:
G Blane Saipaia, G Stephen Peterman, DT Cleveland Pinkney, DT Langston Moore, OLB Alex Lewis, CB Keith Smith.
Potential Cap Casualties:
WR Mike Williams, TE Marcus Pollard, G Ross Verba, DT Shaun Cody.

Cap Status (as of 2/14): $15.6 million under.

Offseason Needs:
  1. Two Defensive Ends: James Hall led all Detroit defensive ends with five sacks. That's just pathetic. The team needs someone who can generate double-digit sacks. If the Lions are serious about winning, they'll make a run at Dwight Freeney. Signed Dewayne White; drafted Ikaika Alama-Francis.
  2. Defensive Tackle: The Lions will need a new starting defensive tackle if Cory Redding defects for another team. But even if they re-sign Redding, it wouldn't hurt to have solid depth, which is something they currently lack. Redding franchised.
  3. Two Offensive Tackles: Right tackle Rex Tucker stinks; left tackle Jeff Backus belongs on the inside, despite the mammoth-sized contract he signed last year. The Lions will probably draft Joe Thomas with the No. 2 overall pick. Traded for George Foster.
  4. Safety: Just the fourth of about a billion needs for the Lions. They need a playmaker at free safety. If they find a way to trade down, they should draft LaRon Landry. Drafted Gerald Alexander.
  5. Middle Linebacker: It figures that Detroit's starting linebacker's name is Paris. No wonder the team went 3-13. It has the money to overpay for London Fletcher, who could be the answer for the next two years.
  6. Cornerback: Dre' Bly, or as Terry Bradshaw calls him, "Dry Ble'," has asked for a trade. If he leaves, Detroit will obviously be searching for a new starting corner. Signed Travis Fisher; drafted A.J. Davis and Ramzee Robinson.
  7. Tight End: Marcus Pollard was a bust as a free-agent acquisition, meaning Detroit should look for a solid tight end this offseason. The team has the capital to go after Daniel Graham or Jerramy Stevens.
  8. Wide Receiver: Even though they spent about 243 million first-round selections on wide receivers, they need a solid No. 3 option. Kevin Curtis would be a perfect fit. Drafted Calvin Johnson; signed Shaun McDonald and Marcus Robinson.
  9. Quarterback: Jon Kitna isn't the long-term answer, but he's good enough to hold down the fort for another year or two. Look for the Lions to draft Troy Smith in the second round, or Drew Stanton in the third. Drafted Drew Stanton.
  10. Running Back: Kevin Jones is too injury-prone to be counted on. I'd like to see Detroit acquire a complementary back for him. I'm not sure Brian Calhoun is the answer. Traded for Tatum Bell; signed T.J. Duckett.

Analysis: The Lions had nine offseason needs last year per this Web site. They now have 10. What happened? I thought they had a good general manager...


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