Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril is a free agent. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Free Agency: NFC North, especially the Bears are awash with free agents


Brian Urlacher is a free agent who is nearing the end of his illustrious career.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

I’m not sure if you’ve had the opportunity to check out the list of players across the NFL who will soon be to negotiating with any other team in the league as a part of Free Agency, but you should – and especially take a glance at the NFC North – in particular the Chicago Bears.

What you will see is an ocean of players who will be free to either re-sign with their team (before March 12) or those who will be building up their frequent flyer miles. The majority of them will most likely be looking to buy new homes or rent new apartments in cities across the league.

It’s always an exciting time of year – in fact, for me, the most exciting. We watch as Ted Thompson refuses to participate while others across the league open the checkbooks and watch the dollars fly out. What’s the best solution for building a team? Ask Thompson and he’ll tell you that it’s the draft and develop method that, while the slowest, is the most effective. Ask Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and he might tell you the opposite – but history tells us it might be a combination of the two.

Anyway, I digress – the following is a list of all NFC North teams and the free agents who, for the most part, will be testing the market waters within the week:

Chicago Bears

Unrestricted free agents:Kahlil Bell, RB; Zack Bowman, CB; Jason Campbell, QB;Kelvin Hayden, CB; Geno Hayes, LB;Israel Idonije, DE; Johnny Knox*, WR;Lance Louis, OL; Olindo Mare, K; Josh McCown, QB; Henry Melton, DT; D.J. Moore, CB; Troy Nolan, S; Amobi Okoye, DT; Chilo Rachal, OL; Nick Roach, LB; Jonathan Scott, OL; Chris Spencer, OL; Brian Urlacher, LB

Restricted free agents: Nate Collins, DT

Detroit Lions

Unrestricted free agents: Cliff Avril, DE; Gosder Cherilus, OL; Louis Delmas, S; Justin Durant, LB; Drayton Florence, CB; Andre Fluellen, DT; Dylan Gandy, OL; Jason Hanson, K;Nick Harris, P; Jerome Harrison, RB; Will Heller, TE; Sammie Lee Hill, DT; Corey Hilliard, OL; Chris Houston, CB; Lawrence Jackson, DE; Jacob Lacey, CB; Patrick Lee, CB; DeAndre Levy, LB; Stefan Logan, WR; Don Muhlbach, OL; Kassim Osgood, WR; Kevin Smith, RB; Corey Williams, DT

Restricted free agents: Jason Fox, OL; Amari Spievey, S; Willie Young, DE

Minnesota Vikings

Unrestricted free agents: Devin Aromashodu, WR; Joe Berger, OL; Jasper Brinkley, LB;Jerome Felton, RB; Erin Henderson, LB; Phil Loadholt, OL; Marvin Mitchell, LB; Jamarca Sanford, S; Geoff Schwartz, OL; Jerome Simpson, WR

Restricted free agents: A.J. Jefferson, CB; Troy Kropog, OL

 

Green Bay Packers

Unrestricted free agents:Cedric Benson, RB; Ryan Grant, RB; Greg Jennings, WR; Brad Jones, LB; Jeff Saturday*, C; Erik Walden, LB; Charles Woodson*, CB

Restricted free agents: Tom Crabtree, TE; Evan Dietrich-Smith, OL; Rob Francois, LB; Sam Shields, CB; Frank Zombo, LB

Tags: Free Agency NFL Popular Winning Isn't Everything, It's The Only Thing