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Top Stories from NFC: Justin Fields, Jared Goff, and Kirk Cousins in Bears, Lions, and Vikings

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Bears

  • Bears GM Ryan Poles believes HC Matt Eberflus showed an ability to adapt during the season: “His ability to adapt and adjust as we went along — he had sudden change in terms of his role — and I thought we benefitted from that. We got better from that point,” via Kevin Fishbain. 
  • Poles said chairperson George McCaskey and team president Kevin Warren continued encouraging him to make moves despite the trade for WR Chase Claypool not working out in their favor: “They both supported me in terms of saying, ‘Keep shooting your shot, man.’ … For a decision-maker to have that kind of support is incredible.” (Fishbain)
  • Poles said it was “my call” to retain Eberflus and is “on the same page” with McCaskey and Warren. (Courtney Cronin)
  • As for their impending decision at quarterback, Poles said they will “turn every stone” but believes Justin Fields improved throughout the season: “We are going to turn every stone to make sure we make a sound decision for our organization. I do think Justin got better. I do think he can lead this team. At the same time, there’s a unique situation and our staff has to look at everything.” (Fishbain)
  • Poles said he must be “blown away” by a quarterback prospect to take them No. 1 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft and mentioned the players’ character will be an important factor in their decision. (Adam Jahns)
  • Poles said they haven’t decided on Fields’ fifth-year option given the deadline is May 3: “We’ve got time.” (Cronin)
  • As for impending free agent CB Jaylon Johnson, Poles expects the cornerback to stay put in Chicago: “I feel really good about that situation. Jaylon’s not going to go anywhere.” (Fishbain)

Lions

Lions QB Jared Goff said there will always be a chip on his shoulder after the Rams traded him to Detroit.

Of course,” Goff said, via ESPN’s Eric Woodyard. “I think it’ll never leave me, and I think that’s a good thing.

Goff spoke highly of Rams HC Sean McVay despite them having differences towards the end of his tenure with the team.

Obviously we had our differences there at the end, but he’s a great coach,” Goff said of McVay. “He’s a guy that taught me a lot.

Goff said that he’s focused on bringing home a playoff win to Detroit and making a run at the Super Bowl.

I so badly want to win a playoff game for this city that hasn’t had one in so long,” Goff said. “We’ve got a home playoff game for the first time in so long and that’s so much more important than anything personally for me. I want to be a part of this win and do my job the best of my ability.

  • Regarding the Lions’ upcoming Wildcard game against the Rams, HC Dan Campbell is confident Goff won’t have any hangups about playing his former team: “I think he’s handled it all well. I don’t think this is gonna be something that he loses sleep over, that he loses focus on. He understands this, if you really feel that way, the best way is to play the very best football,” per Eric Woodyard.

Vikings

Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said it’s his intention for QB Kirk Cousins to return to Minnesota, but the two sides need to come to an agreement on a deal.

I think I’ve been pretty consistent with that,” Adofo-Mensah said, via ESPN’s Kevin Seifert. “I thought we were was playing pretty good football before he got injured [in Week 8]. It’s the most important position in sports. Now, ultimately it always comes down to, ‘Can you find an agreement that works for all sides,’ and all those things. But as a player, it’s certainly my intention to have him back here.

Adofo-Mensah also touched on potentially giving Cousins guaranteed money into 2025 and beyond.

At the end of the day, you’re just taking risks. We’ll try to measure it the best we can to protect ourselves and ensure against it, and on his side, he’s trying to take less risks. That’s his job. They should do that. We’ll try to find a place in the middle and see where we end up.

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