Most underrated offseason moves from Bears' NFC North rivals

Chicago Bears, Jared Goff
Chicago Bears, Jared Goff / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages
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However the Vikings plan to use Sam Darnold, it will have been worth it

If the Vikings roll into the season with Sam Darnold as their starting quarterback, Bears fans will probably be laughing. And, to an extent, it makes sense. The Vikings let Kirk Cousins walk after putting up several 4,000-yard seasons in Minnesota, only to sign Darnold.

They lucked into drafting J.J. McCarthy where they did because, by all accounts, he very well could have gone in the top five or six picks. But, Minnesota was able to get hiim at no. 10 without trading up more than a single spot.

Back to Darnold, though. The last time we saw a decent sample size out of him, he was in Carolina with a poor offense, poor coordinator and not a lot of help. However, he went 4-2 as a starter for the Panthers in 2022, throwing for 1,143 yards, seven touchdowns and just three picks. Darnold played great football for a bad Panthers team to end that season. Don't also overlook the 106 yards rushing and two scores he accounted for on the ground.

Darnold is not a bad football player. He has grown since being drafted in 2018 and spent last season under Kyle Shanahan. Do not be surprised if Darnold not only starts the season, but plays well for Minnesota.