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It appears the reigning NFC North-champion Vikings have not cornered the NFL market on touting one's expertise in forging revolutionary changes to a team's "culture."

A look at the rest of the division through the first wave of free agency shows the Bears getting better while trumpeting their new "culture," and the Lions lurking ever closer to the top while also lauding their new "culture."

As for the Packers, well, they've done very little except sign a long snapper, Matthew Orzech of the Rams, and lose their leading receiver, Allen Lazard, to the Jets. They're likely going to get a whole lot worse quite soon. And they probably won't get around to their new-culture talking points until they've finished holding on to Aaron Rodgers long enough to make the Jets (over)pay the maximum ransom for a 39-year-old quarterback who appears to lack Tom Brady's hunger to play into his mid-40s.

While that drags on, all eyes are on Chicago, where second-year General Manager Ryan Poles is now very much enjoying the fruits of his decision last year to be super-noncompetitive in Year 1 of his rebuild. The worst team of 2022 headed into 2023 armed with the No. 1 overall draft pick, a league-high $94 million in cap space and no need to draft a rookie quarterback or overpay a veteran quarterback to start.

Trading with the QB-starved Panthers, Poles turned the No. 1 pick into four picks — including No. 9 overall this year as well as a second-round pick this year, a first-round pick next year and a second-round pick in 2025 — and D.J. Moore, a 25-year-old receiver with three 1,100-yard seasons in a five-year career that began as a first-round draft pick.

If that wasn't head-turning enough, Poles dove into free agency quickly but prudently with an eye on the long-term future, knowing his roster needs to stay young as it grows with Justin Fields, a third-year quarterback who may need a year or two or three to reach his full potential.

The Bears used $91.9 million of guaranteed money on four prized starters: linebackers Tremaine Edmunds, 24; and T.J. Edwards, 26; guard Nate Davis, 26; and defensive end DeMarcus Walker, 28.

"We stuck to our plan," Poles told reporters this week. "And that's really to marry a fit for what we're trying to do here — our culture, our scheme — with value."

Six of the 10 new faces the Bears have added through trade or free agency are 26 or younger.

"A big emphasis," Poles said. "It's a young man's game. … It was important to me to stay young, fast, explosive."

Moore, naturally, raved about the Bears' new "culture."

"I'm glad to be a part of the groundwork that's being laid," he told the team's website. "And to just build that foundation of winning, it's going to be something special."

Other Bears signings included backup quarterback P.J. Walker, Packers tight end Robert Tonyan and running backs Travis Homer and D'Onta Foreman. Foreman and Homer will help replace David Montgomery, who is now in Detroit raving about the Lions' explosive offense and, of course, the new "culture" being crafted by General Manager Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell, who has won eight of his last 10 games after starting 4-19-1.

"I'm excited," Montgomery said. "They're building something special here and I'm able to be part of it."

Ditto, said another new Lion, Cameron Sutton. The former Steeler was one of the top corners available in free agency until the cornerback-needy Lions gave him $33 million over three years with $21 million guaranteed. They also signed 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley.

"This organization is ready to turn a hump," Sutton said. "We're here to play. We're not here just to show up and be in the building and say we're a part of this league. We're ready to leave our mark."

The Vikings, of course, aren't willing to concede anything. Not when they can point to 13 wins last year and this year's league-high marks in the NFLPA's recent 1,300-player survey.

So, by gosh, let the new-and-improved "culture" wars begin!