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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Matt Forte’s exit from Bears just the latest change in NFC North

By Andrew Krammer

Change in the NFL is inevitable as sunrise, though not every year do 179 touchdowns walk out the door of a division.

The past 12 months have been a welcomed change in Minnesota, where Vikings coach Mike Zimmer helped reel in Adrian Peterson, and forged a solid defense on the way to 11 wins and the first division title since 2009. Just as the Vikings try to mend their own offense, they’ve watched an exodus of offensive talent around the NFC North, and a stumbling Packers’ group that was hurting without Jordy Nelson.

Should the Lions’ Calvin Johnson make official his reported retirement, the division will have lost a trio of weapons from two teams in Johnson, Brandon Marshall and now Matt Forte in a calendar year. As he’s set to hit free agency, Forte announced Friday that the Bears will move on after eight seasons.

Those big three highlight the NFL’s normal current of change, sweeping out coaches, executives and players alike. The Bears have been cleaning out their cupboards under new head coach John Fox, while the Lions are remaking their front office. Two other veterans, with a combined 16 seasons in the division, also left in linebacker A.J. Hawk and defensive end Jared Allen. Another could be on his way out should the Vikings not re-sign linebacker Chad Greenway, entering his 11th season.

Timeline

Feb. 25, 2015: Packers release LB A.J. Hawk

March 6, 2015: Bears trade WR Brandon Marshall to the Jets

March 13, 2015: Vikings trade for WR Mike Wallace, cut WR Greg Jennings

Sept. 28, 2015: Bears trade DE Jared Allen to the Panthers

Nov. 5, 2015: Lions fire General Manager Martin Mayhew, President Tom Lewand

Jan. 3, 2016: Vikings win NFC North, end Packers’ four-year run

Jan. 31, 2016: ESPN reports WR Calvin Johnson told Lions he’ll retire

Feb. 12, 2016: Bears to let go RB Matt Forte

The post Matt Forte’s exit from Bears just the latest change in NFC North appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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