Green Bay Packers: Why a new-look 2024 Chicago Bears squad could pose a huge threat to the Packers

With the NFL offseason well underway, teams across the league are making moves to try to improve their rosters and remain under the salary cap. But what the Green Bay Packers’ biggest rivals are doing this year is garnering an extra amount of attention. With the #1 overall draft pick, what the Chicago Bears decide could very well shape the future of their franchise. There is a noteworthy argument to be made that it could very well affect the NFC North division power structure as well.

The next face of the Green Bay Packers rival?

Green Bay Packers & the others: What are they doing?

How Long Is Kirk Cousins Out For? Latest News Surrounding the Vikings QB

Oct 29, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) passes the ball pressured by Green Bay Packers linebacker Rashan Gary (52) in the game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Tork Mason-USA TODAY Sports
Before we get into the Bears’ moves, let’s examine what the other three teams in the division have been up to.Ezoic

Maybe the biggest move was in Minnesota, where Kirk Cousins left to join the Atlanta Falcons on a four-year deal. Cousins had a rocky tenure as quarterback for the Vikings and was only able to garner one playoff win in six seasons, so it was probably for the best that both sides parted ways to start fresh. Although they signed Sam Darnold, Minnesota is expected to pursue another quarterback in the draft just like the Bears.

Detroit, coming off a division title and a run to the NFC Championship game, largely kept their roster as is but did add/lose some complementary players. For example, they signed defensive end DJ Reader, formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals; but lost players like tight end Zach Ertz to free agency as well.Ezoic

Many consider the Green Bay Packers the biggest threat to Detroit in the division. And they clearly showed their desire for the division crown by keeping themselves busy these past few weeks. They decided to release running back Aaron Jones (who wound up in Minnesota, ironically), and effectively replaced him by signing free agent Josh Jacobs. They also signed safety Xavier McKinney to a four-year deal and had to deal with the release of longtime Packer David Bakhtiari.

Chicago Bears: Quarterback carousel

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears NFL game photos at Lambeau Field
Green Bay Packers linebacker Lukas Van Ness (90) sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) during the first quarter of their game Sunday, January 7, 2024 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Perhaps the most pressing question that the entire league was wondering was in regards to what the Chicago Bears were going to do at quarterback. Were they going to keep Justin Fields, who struggled the past three seasons but also showed flashes of great potential? Or, was the team going to go in a new direction? That question was answered this past week when the team traded Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 2025 sixth-round draft pick. This cleared the way for the Bears to pick a new quarterback, while also giving Fields a chance to possibly compete for the starting job with an aging Russell Wilson in Pittsburgh.

It is widely believed that the Bears will pursue USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the first-overall draft pick. The former Heisman winner has his detractors, but many around the league rave about his ability and talent. The team also beefed up its roster on the offensive of the ball by adding running back D’Andre Swift and wide receiver Keenan Allen. The expectation is that next year, this Bears offense will be much more potent.

Bottom Line
The assumption from most fans and pundits is that the division race will be between Green Bay and Detroit, with Minnesota rebuilding itself following Cousins’ departure. But there is very much a possibility that this new-look Chicago Bears team could be a dark horse contender. They made great strides during the second half of last year and showed in both contests against Detroit that they can hang with the division’s best. If Caleb Williams and company can revamp Chicago, teams like Green Bay better watch out.

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