If you missed my late afternoon bullets from yesterday, you can find them here. They include thoughts on what Mel Tucker’s defense might look like, Corey Wootton having hip surgery, the Lions hiring Jim Caldwell, and more. (And if you did miss them, you’ll also find an explanation for my brief absence yesterday. Spoiler: I was sick.)
Early this afternoon, I’ll resume my offseason review with a look at the Bears offensive tackles. And now, your morning bullets:
- CBS Chicago’s Dan Durkin is as plugged in as anyone with regards to the Bears salary cap situation, and his piece from last night is as good an outline as I’ve seen. We’ve discussed the Bears cap situation before, but considering how big a role it plays for the Bears offseason, I’m not sure it can be examined enough. Dan thinks that among a few other cost-cutting moves, the Bears might consider extending Brandon Marshall in order to lower his cap number for 2014. That’s something I can get behind. Marshall’s value is tremendous, and he seems like the kind of receiver who could remain effective even as he enters his 30’s. (His game is not based solely on speed.) He turns 30 in March, and I think a new deal would make sense for both sides, assuming everyone’s on the same page financially.
- ESPN Insider Mike Sando had a list of 25 must-sign free agents; that is, impending free agents whose teams must bring back. It’s behind ESPN’s paywall, but ESPN Chicago’s Michael C. Wright has you covered in terms of Bears-related bits. Henry Melton comes in at #6, and Wright notes that on talent alone that’s true, but there are some character concerns involved with Melton that might make it a more difficult decision for the Bears. It’s up in the air for me, as well; I’d guess it depends on the extent to which Melton’s ACL injury depresses his market in free agency. As a bargain signing, I’d hope the Bears re-sign him. But I’m wary of him becoming Tommie Harris 2.0, and the Bears can’t afford to waste money on the defensive side of the ball.
- Friend of the blog Matt Eurich had an interesting look at what the Bears might be able to do with Shea McClellin. In it, he looks at the Seahawks defense and how they use a hybrid DE/LB position for pass rushing purposes. Anything’s worth a shot, at this point. The one thing they can’t do is try exactly what they tried in 2013.
- CBS Chicago’s Adam Hoge came out with his second offseason notebook, with a look at why Mel Tucker wasn’t fired. He also breaks down his college prospect of the week, and includes a link back to this article he wrote after the Rams loss. It was published before this blog came to life, but it features some great breakdowns of, well, breakdowns by the Bears defense. Not surprisingly, Shea McClellin and Chris Conte bear the brunt of the blame.
- Grantland’s Bill Barnwell takes a long look at the NFL coaching carousel, and the path Ken Whisenhunt has taken to becoming the Titans head coach. He also touches on the Lions hiring of Jim Caldwell, and he seems lukewarm on both hires, noting that neither had any success without a great quarterback. (For Whisenhunt in Arizona, it was Kurt Warner; for Caldwell in Indianapolis, it was obviously Peyton Manning.) The Titans probably don’t have that player on their roster (unless you’re really bullish on Jake Locker) and it remains to be seen just how high Matthew Stafford’s ceiling truly is.
- Matt Bowen published this film study breakdown of the Divisional round games. I always find his X’s and O’s fascinating.
- Finally, remember the Bears fan who tasered his Packers fan wife after Chicago beat Green Bay on Monday Night Football? He was sentenced to a $250 fine, according to this Chicago Tribune article by Gregory Pratt. In a contender for the least surprising revelation of all time, the report notes that both had been drinking.