In recent years the NFC North Division has been the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers' to lose. When Rodgers signed his monumental deal to stay with the Packers for an additional four years, it appeared that it was much of the same.
And then, seemingly out of nowhere the Packers traded star wide receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders and nobody knows what to think.
Truth be told, it sounds like the Adams move had been in the works for a little while behind the scenes, supposedly Aaron Rodgers even knew about the potential that Adams would be moved before he agreed to his deal. Still, it provides an opening for every team in the NFC North to jump right back into the regular competition for a divisional title.
Sure, Aaron Rodgers is still the best quarterback in the division and anytime you have hall of fame talent under center you have chance to win. But the consensus number two team in the division, the Minnesota Vikings, have to be approaching their upcoming work with a little more zest in their step after the announcement of the move.
It's not a sure thing at all, but taking away Rodgers' number one target and a special talent at that will force some things to happen in Green Bay. They'll instantly become more inexperienced at the position. Rodgers will be forced to move the ball around to other, less talented wide receivers. The whole idea of time of possession shifts for the Packers and puts more of the onus on the defense in Green Bay as well. Teams struggling with cornerback depth are all of the sudden a little less afraid of Aaron and the Packers and the overall win total for the Packers could drop by one, maybe even two games.
It's an overall leveling of the playing field to an extent.
But can the Vikings jump up and take advantage? That's yet to be seen. It'll take a jump in play from Kirk Cousins. It will take a successful transition from the old regime to the new and it will take a large uptick in overall defensive play from 2021 to 2022 for the Purple. But all can be done with just a few improvements across the board.
At the end of the day what this move really makes me thankful for is that the Vikings didn't completely clean house and start a full rebuild to coincide with the new leadership. There's an opportunity to be had in the NFC North and the Vikings are in the best position to take it out of A-Rodg's grasp.