HomeTrade RumorsJustin Jefferson, Shane Waldron, and NFC North Teams: Bears, Packers, Vikings

Justin Jefferson, Shane Waldron, and NFC North Teams: Bears, Packers, Vikings

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Bears

New Bears OC Shane Waldron feels any quarterback will be able to effectively fit into his system, including Justin Fields or a prospective rookie in the 2024 NFL Draft.

“Yeah, I totally believe that,” Waldron said, via Courtney Cronin of ESPN. “I think in the past experiences with different quarterbacks, different experience levels, whether I was in the coordinator role or in a role as a position coach, I felt that way. I felt different quarterbacks have been able to step foot into the system, be able to learn it quickly, and that starts with us being able to teach it in a good and efficient manner where they understand it.”

Waldron said Chicago having the No. 1 and No. 9 overall picks in the upcoming draft was a unique opportunity.

“It’s not going to happen too often,” Waldron said. “This is that year, and then also the core, the group of players that is already in place on offense, including the quarterback that played at a high level and that displayed the ability to win football games and make plays.”

As for this year’s quarterback class, Waldron believes multiple players proved they can perform in big games, including USC’s Caleb Williams.

“My impression of a lot of these quarterbacks, all the college quarterbacks, was, what an unbelievable college season we just came off of with these guys making some of these dynamic plays down the stretch, whether it was leading into the championship games or the bowl games leading up to that, the regular season,” Waldron said. “There’s multiple quarterbacks that have already performed on the highest stage, in big games and obviously [Williams is] one of them.”

Packers

Packers HC Matt LaFleur addressed moving on from forming DC Joe Barry and what he expects out of new DC Jeff Hafley.

You guys know how I feel about Joe Barry and I’m so thankful for our time together,” LaFleur said, via PFT. “I’ve got so much respect for him as a man, as a coach, and what he was able to do for us. Those are tough decisions. But I think as the head football coach, sometimes you’ve got to make tough decisions in terms of what you think you need to do moving forward to put your team in the best possible position.

[We] just felt really good about what Jeff Hafley is going to bring to us in terms of his ability to lead, his ability to connect. Certainly have always had respect for him from afar as a football coach. He’s worked with my brother at two different stops, he’s worked with Kyle Shanahan at two different stops — Cleveland and San Francisco. I how those guys, how much respect they have for him as a person first and a coach second. But just really excited [about] what he’s going to bring. Certainly, it will be a different scheme. But I think it’s one that will be easy to adjust to with the personnel that we have.”

LaFleur doesn’t envision any major hurdles as the team switches from an odd front to an even front.

I wanted to get what I thought was the best for us,” LaFleur said. “And that’s not to discredit anybody else, it’s just that every situation is a little bit different. I equate putting a coaching staff together, it’s like putting a puzzle together. And how does each piece fit? That’s an important part of it, is the fit. And he just happens to run more of a 4-3. But I felt comfortable with, again, what we had — because the last thing you want to do is just scrap everything that you’ve got going for you, especially when you have some pretty good players that have performed at a high level and guys under contract and all this. ‘Gutey’ [G.M. Brian Gutekunst] was a part of the process when we were interviewing these guys, I certainly wanted to make him feel on board with it. He was pretty comfortable with it. So, we went out and got Hafley.”

Vikings

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson has been one of the league’s best receivers since he stepped on an NFL field back in 2020. His contract is set to expire after 2024, however, and the two sides are expected to continue talks on an extension this offseason. Jefferson knows his value and wants his paycheck to reflect his production. That could mean a salary that doesn’t just make him one of the highest-paid receivers, but one of the NFL’s highest-paid players, period.

“I’m definitely aware of what I’ve been doing for the organization, what I’ve done ever since I’ve stepped foot on this NFL field,” Jefferson said, via ESPN’s Kevin Seifert. “So I’m definitely going to do what’s right by getting the amount that I feel like I’m valued. I definitely will keep in mind the different stats and where I am as a player and as a receiver. So I’m definitely going to let the agent and all of that do all of the different negotiations and the different numbers. But I definitely would like and hope to be one of the highest-paid players and especially receivers.”

  • The Minnesota Vikings officially hired assistant OL coach Shaun Sarrett and assistant to the head coach Henry Schneider IV.

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