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NFC North Rundown: Bears’ defense is getting older with six starters over 30

Minnesota began to retool its defense this offseason, but Chicago may be nearing the beginning of its own defensive rebuild soon.

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Despite the carousel of quarterback news this offseason, defense has quietly been its own theme of the NFC North.

The Minnesota Vikings have been active in adding to their unit, re-acquiring a veteran defensive lineman this past week after signing a number of defensive backs during the spring. Meanwhile, Detroit drafted a pair of interior linemen who will be competing for snaps in a new defensive system this season. Although Chicago will have some level of continuity on its defense, even without Kyle Fuller, age is becoming a factor for the team to consider as it ponders a possible new stadium.

Today’s divisional rundown touches on each of those topics, while examining Windy City Gridiron’s entertaining list of their favorite all-time Green Bay Packers players.

Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson wanted to leave Lions, says they blocked him

A prolonged NFL career could have been in store for Johnson, much like Matthew Stafford, had the Lions been willing to part ways back in 2016.

Hockenson continues to impress as he builds rapport with Goff

After a Pro Bowl season in year two, Hockenson appears poised for another breakout campaign, notably in the run-blocking phase of his game.

Sunday open thread: Will Levi Onwuzurike or Alim McNeill play more snaps in 2021?

With a 3-4 base defense, it is possible that the third-rounder McNeill may see the bulk of the nose tackle snaps and more reps than the second-round pick Onwuzurike.

Chicago Bears

Bears fans, who is your all-time ‘favorite’ Packers player?

This question provided a wide variety of opinions, some serious and some rather comical.

Chicago mayor takes savage shot at Bears after team takes first step toward possible move out of Soldier Field

Mayor Lori Lightfoot believes the Bears should focus more on “beating the Packers” and “putting a winning team on the field” than on a new stadium after the organization recently bid on a 326-acre piece of land.

Age Creeping Up on Bears Defense

“No team has actually won a Super Bowl with six defensive starters in their 30s since the 2004 New England Patriots did it.” The Bears are expected to have that number, albeit players in their very early 30s, in 2021.

Minnesota Vikings

Sheldon Richardson reportedly took less money to return to Minnesota

The rumors about a reunion last week were true as Richardson landed back with the Vikings on what appears to be a bargain deal.

Vikings CB Harrison Hand named Minnesota’s surprise minicamp player

Minnesota added a number of defensive backs in the offseason, but a second-year returner may push for more than just a final roster spot.

Agent: Minnesota Vikings rookie Jaylen Twyman shot four times, expected to make full recovery

One of the Vikings’ late draft picks suffered bullet wounds while visiting family in Washington, D.C. but is expected to recover.