Grading the NFC North’s Trade Deadline

There were some massive trades on this year’s deadline, with some notable ones coming in the NFC North. In this report I will be grading the trade deadlines of each NFC North team.

Green Bay Packers: F
As a Green Bay Packers fan it was demoralizing seeing the Packers make no moves, especially as the biggest rival to dethrone us in the NFC North, the Minnesota Vikings, made a trade to get better. A report was released saying that the Packers offered the Pittsburgh Steelers the same amount as the Chicago Bears did for Chase Claypool, but because Pittsburgh believed the Bears’ second round pick would be better than the Packers’ one, they chose to trade to the Bears. So, at least the Packers were trying, but to end with no additions after such a terrible start to the season leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Detroit Lions: C
Just like the Packers, Detroit didn’t add anyone to their roster but did trade T.J. Hockenson to the Minnesota Vikings for a 2023 2nd round pick and a 2024 third round pick. The Lions chose to move their former first round pick after 4 years, and with this lost an exciting young piece of their rebuilding team. Has he lived up to expectations so far? Not really. Although he could’ve grown with the team as they rebuild. There could’ve been reason for the Lions to believe he will not re-sign with them once his contract runs out.and they have cleared $13 million in cap space by trading him away. For this reason it isn’t a bad idea for the Lions to pick up more valuable draft picks to continue the rebuild without Hockenson. Although,at this point in time, the Lions are no better.

Minnesota Vikings: C
Minnesota, who received T.J. Hockenson, a 2023 fourth round pick and a 2024 conditional fourth-round pick, have filled the hole at tight end made by Irv Smith Jr getting injured. They seem to be pushing for a deep play-off run after a great start (6-1) and a seemingly weak NFC. They did give away some good draft picks though and will have to try and find later round talent if they want a bright future. T.J. will be a valuable member for the team and definitely improves them, but this move could hurt them in the future with their limited picks.

Chicago Bears: B
Here is an overview of the moves Chicago made:

Bears receive: Chase Claypool
Steelers receive: 2023 second round pick

Bears receive: A.J Klein
2023 second round pick
2023 fifth round pick
Ravens receive: Roquan Smith

Bears Receive: 2023 fourth round pick
Eagles receive: Robert Quinn

The Chicago Bears aren’t in a great place right now sitting at (3-5) and are probably looking to rebuild. The main trades have included defensive players with expensive contracts for draft picks, to facilitate this rebuild. Interestingly the second round pick received in the Roquan Smith trade was then used to pick up Chase Claypool. This is presumably to help Justin Fields to gauge whether he’s the quarterback to build around, which right now isn’t obvious after some really bad performances. Claypool is only 25 and can grow with the Bears, but will need a new contract after next season. This is a case of trusting the process but this is a good start.
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