Robert Tonyan

Robert Tonyan says the NFC North is ‘wide open'

Ex-Packers tight end says the division is up for grabs, especially without Aaron Rodgers in the picture

NBC Universal, Inc.

The NFC North, alongside the NFC South, might be the two worst divisions in the NFL next season.

Either way, it'll be far less competitive than last season.

Aaron Rodgers' offseason departure to the New York Jets tanks the chances of the Green Bay Packers finding success this season. Jordan Love sounds to be a promising candidate to be the Packers' next signal caller, but he's still a massive question mark.

And despite recording one of the NFL's best records last season, the Minnesota Vikings are looking to sell off their most valuable commodities, including Dalvin Cook, Danielle Hunter and Za'Darius Smith.

"It’s wide open," Ex-Packers now Bears tight end Robert Tonyan said of the NFC North. "That’s the best part. Everyone is young. Everyone is new. You have good players on every team. That’s the thing. There is no favorite. And it’s wide open. And that’s exactly where you want to be."

Most pundits would agree the Detroit Lions are the likely favorites to win the division. They recorded a 9-8 record last season. Dan Campbell and his squad are far along in their rebuild and should make a jump in 2023.

The Lions had a heckuva offseason. In free agency, they bolstered their secondary with the likes of C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Cameron Sutton. They upgraded their running back room with David Montgomery and Jahmiyr Gibbs. And they returned a majority of their roster, with a few notable exceptions like Jamaal Williams, DJ Chark and Amani Oruwariye.

Like the Lions, the Bears also had a busy offseason. They upgraded their offensive line, linebacker room, secondary and added DJ Moore to what now looks like a reputable pass-catching core. They spent around $70 million while maintaining the league's most cap space.

Still, this is all speculation. But as Tonyan put it, there isn't a clear-cut, dominant force in the North this season. It'll likely be a close race unless a team unexpectedly pops off, like the Vikings did last season.

"Overlooked, underrated, whatever you want to call it," Tonyan said. "But they still gotta step on the field because they’ve got to see us. I’m excited”

Click here to follow the Under Center Podcast.

Contact Us