Following on from last week’s AFC team needs we take a look at the NFC team needs, with free agency well underway we can see whose quick out of the blocks to address their needs and who has taken the more patient approach.
NFC North — Green Bay yet again took the division under the blossoming leadership combo of QB Aaron Rodgers and head coach Matt LaFleur. Chicago managed to get to 8–8 and the Vikings an underwhelming 7–9. The Lions said goodbye to Matt Stafford after years of loyal service who ended up 5–11 in his final year. Green Bay Packers (11–5) — Made it to the NFC championship game losing out to the eventual Super Bowl champs Tampa Bay. The Packers primary needs in the offseason are their Defensive Line and Cornerback. They have yet to address to later but with plenty of time to go they will not be worried; however, they have started to address the defensive line by adding free agent run stuffer Damon Harrison. Chicago Bears (8–8)- Chicago will be disappointed with how last year panned out and appear to be looking to overhaul their roster after letting go of some key players. On top of Matt Nagy’s shopping list will be Quarterback and O-Line. Having moved on from Trubisky they added veteran Andy Dalton to their QB room, and I think he will be a steady upgrade from Foles and Trubisky. They have yet to address the O-Line so far. Minnesota Vikings (7–9) — Regressed in 2020 finishing at 7–9 they are a far cry from the exciting contender of a few years ago. Two key positions of need are Defensive Back and Defensive Line. They have added experienced cornerback Patrick Peterson and Dalvin Tomlinson to the D-Line. Detroit Lions (5–11) — Detroit footed the division in 2020 in a poor year for the franchise. Moved on from Matt Stafford by trading him to the LA Rams acquiring Jared Goff in the trade. Many positions need addressing but the two main ones are Defensive Back and Wide Receiver. Yet to address the former but have added Breshad Perriman to the depleted WR room.
NFC East — The once-great division was arguably the worst in the league in 2020 with all 4 teams combing for just 23 wins. Washington limped over the line to take the division under the inspirational leadership of Comeback Player of The Year Alex Smith and “Riverboat” Ron Rivera. Washington Football Team (7–9) — Showed promising signs with the talent of both sides of the ball heading by Terry McLaurin and Chase Young. Moved on from former 1st round pick so Quarterback and Pass Catchers. Addressed both needs by adding the evergreen Ryan Fitzpatrick who if nothing will bring excitement to the team, also added Curtis Samuel to their WR corps to pair up with McLaurin. New York Giants (6–10) — Will be content with their progress last year but 6 and 10 will not fly for long with the Giants fans. Positions of need are Wide Receiver and Pass Rush. Gone someway to improving the pass rush by tying down the disruptive Leonard Williams to a long-term deal. They also added TE Kyle Rudolph and WR John Ross to give Daniel Jones some more targets. Dallas Cowboys (6–10) — Underwhelming year to say the least after losing Dak Prescott early on to a gruesome leg injury. Still have an incredibly talented roster with the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, one position of need was Quarterback, but they quickly fixed this by giving Dak the big money long term deal he deserved. They still need to add a Cornerback to help the defence. Philadelphia Eagles (4–11–1) — Lightyears away from the Super Bowl team from 2017, moved on from Carson Wentz who has moved to pastures new and are giving the keys to Jalen Hurts. Philly has yet to add to their two positions of need at O-Line and Tight End.
NFC South — Saints won the division despite missing Brees for a section of the season, but it was the Bucs who literally took home the Lombardi to the Raymond James stadium. The Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons will have to improve no end to compete with their divisional rivals. New Orleans Saints (12–4) — The moment has finally come when Drew Brees has called time on his Hall of Fame-calibre career. Drew retires a legend in New Orleans for all that he has done there, retires with a Super Bowl ring and numerous records and personal awards. Naturally, a position of need is Quarterback after Brees left, they have signed Jameis Winston to an improved deal who will most likely share the role with Taysom Hill. Cornerback is a position of need that has yet to be filled. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11–5) — Brought in Tom Brady for 2020 and he repaid the Bucs by winning them a Super Bowl which was his 7th. These two positions of need have already been addressed after they tied down Wide Receiver Chris Godwin with the franchise tag and Pass Rusher Shaq Barrett with a new deal. Carolina Panthers (5–11) — At somewhat of a crossroads with many areas where they simply must improve if they are not to waste the prime years of top tier running back Christian McCaffrey. One position they appear to be looking to improve is Quarterback via trade or the draft. They have however made moves to improve the O-Line by adding Pat Elflein and Cameron Erving. Atlanta Falcons (4–12) — Like Philly they are lightyears away from the team that made the Super Bowl a few years ago now. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones appear to be sticking around for another season at least but they will need to add a Running Back and a Tight End. They have added a blocking TE in veteran Lee Smith.
NFC West — The Seahawks reigned supreme in the West closely followed by the Rams in 2020 but neither team was a genuine contender to get to the big dance. Arizona showed improvement under the talented Kyler Murray and the 49ers struggled without Jimmy G yet again. Seattle Seahawks (12–4) — The strong rumours have turned the murmurs with regards face of the franchise Russell Wilson wanting out of Seattle. One of the main reasons he wants out is the lack of investment in the O-Line which has been an area of weakness for the Seahawks. Cornerback is another area of need and they have added Ahkello Witherspoon from divisional rivals San Francisco. Los Angeles Rams (10–6) — Made the move to bring in Matthew Stafford who could well be the man to push the Rams over the edge and get back to the Super Bowl. The offence is seemingly set now but two areas of need are Safety and Pash Rush. They have not added to either of these areas of need but have retained Leonard Floyd. Arizona Cardinals (8–8) — Showed signs of improvement last year which was hampered by niggling injuries to Kyler Murray and lack of a dominant Running Back which need sorting. One area they have added too is their pass rush by adding JJ Watt from the Texans, however, they will need another Cornerback after moving on from Patrick Peterson. San Francisco 49ers (6–10) — The clock is ticking on Jimmy Garoppolo after he has struggled to stay healthy for the past few years now and they need to add a Quarterback, whether that is via the draft or by trading for one with DeShaun Watson been talked about. Elsewhere the Niners need to add a top tier Cornerback.