Let’s take a spin around the league.
- A pair of Bears opponents in 2019 appear to be on the verge of cutting a deal that sends a quarterback out east:
Per source, Broncos have the framework for a deal in place to send Case Keenum and a 2020 seventh-round pick to Washington in exchange for a 2020 sixth-rounder. Washington also covers half of Keenum's guaranteed salary for 2019.
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) March 7, 2019
- The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala reports Denver and Washington are working through a trade that would send quarterback Case Keenum to our nation’s capital. Should this deal go through, Denver would receive a sixth-round pick in 2020 and half of Keenum’s guaranteed money for 2019. Sending a seventh-round pick is a small price for Denver’s front office to pay to send Keenum away. Remember when Keenum was a hot free agent commodity and was supposed to be The Guy for the Broncos last year? Ahhhh, memories. Keenum never came close to replicating his career year with the Vikings, but because Washington will be without Alex Smith next year and Colt McCoy isn’t going to strike fear in the heart of opposing defenses, it’s wise for that team to create a competition for the starting role between two capable backups.
- In case you missed it, Joe Flacco will be the Broncos’ quarterback in 2019 once their trade with the Ravens officially goes through when the league year begins.
- Elsewhere in the world of 2019 Bears opponents, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia weighs the pros and cons of the Eagles acquiring Jordan Howard. The Eagles were viewed as a “sleeper” fit for Howard before the trading deadline last year and their running backs room leaves a lot to be desired from top to bottom, so I suppose it makes sense for Philly to try and cash in on the final year of Howard’s rookie deal. And since that front office employs some former Bears talent evaluators, perhaps they’re more willing to take a gamble on Howard.
- Prince Amukamara is excited that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s retirement turned out to be short-lived:
I knew it!! Let’s go Cro!! https://t.co/w2C6sZIxMN
— Prince Amukamara (@PrinceAmukamara) March 7, 2019
- DRC is a pro’s pro and an interesting name to add to the cornerback market. He has 160 games (121 starts) and two Pro Bowl appearances under his belt. Rodgers-Cromartie won’t command major dollars, but could be a fit for the right team at the right price. We’ll keep an eye on his status once free agency begins and some of the movement starts taking place.
- The timing for this transaction is curious:
- The Broncos parting ways with their starting strong safety before Adrian Amos hits the market is definitely going to raise eyebrows, especially since Amos has already discussed Denver as a fit. Stewart was a Pro Bowl defender in 2016 and started 15 games during the Broncos’ Super Bowl championship run in 2015. Perhaps we can add Stewart’s name to the list of defensive backs to keep an eye on if Amos isn’t back in the fold with the Bears.
- Here’s the latest in the Antonio Brown sweepstakes:
As of Thurs afternoon, no definitive leader in Antonio Brown trade sweepstakes. PIT still plans to field best offers by Friday, will assess situation at that point. For team, it's about best overall deal, from what I'm told, not simply 1st rounder or bust
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 7, 2019
- I’m not sure what’s the rush to get this deal done for Pittsburgh. Racing to get deals done doesn’t usually tend to end well for the team looking to push a player out the door. The Steelers have made it clear that they won’t settle, but setting artificial deadlines when they’re unnecessary seems like a questionable way about doing business.
- Other news out of Pittsburgh has Maurkice Pouncey’s extension with the Steelers as being a noteworthy one:
Numbers on the #Steelers extensions: It's 2 years, $22 million for Maurkice Pouncey (now signed thru 2021) and 2 years, $8.25M for Ramon Foster, who could've become a UFA. Solidifying Big Ben's veteran front.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 7, 2019
- Bears center Cody Whitehair is eligible to sign an extension right now. Pouncey is more experienced and established at the position, therefore, his extension is going to be pricier than what Whitehair will likely command. But it’s always good to keep in mind what’s happening elsewhere in the market when thinking about your own team’s future expenditures. Perspective is always key.
- While deals for players who happen to play positions the Bears need to fill this offseason, Erik Bacharach of the Tennessean reports punter Brett Kern has agreed to a four-year extension with the Titans. Bacharach cites an NFL Network report of the deal being worth $12.55 million with a $2.2 million signing bonus. Kern has been with the team since 2009 and has aged gracefully, making the Pro Bowl each of the last two seasons. Once your team has a respectable punter, it’s tough to let him hit the open market. Keep that in mind when thinking about Pat O’Donnell as free agency opens up next week.
- Sometimes you have to give credit where it’s due. So here I am tipping my cap to the Raiders for doing what the Bears haven’t been able to do:
Raiders issued tenders to their exclusive-rights free agents. K Daniel Carlson, LB Jason Cabinda among those who will return in 2019, sources said. Neither a surprise. As rookies, Carlson had most accurate season in franchise history; Cabinda showed promise with development.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) March 7, 2019
- The Raiders locked-in kicker Daniel Carlson on an exclusive-rights free agent deal. You might remember Carlson as the kicker the Vikings cut after tripping up in the team’s tie against the Packers in Week 2. Well, Carlson found his stroke after joining the Raiders as he went 16-for-17 on field goal attempts in 10 games. He didn’t even miss an extra-point! Meanwhile, the only team with kicking problems on par with the Bears is the Vikings, who signed Dan Bailey to replace Carlson. Bailey put up a disappointing performance in 14 games, connecting on just 75 percent of his field goals. He missed seven field goals and an extra point, which isn’t great (and it’s actually really bad when you realize three of his misses came in the friendly confines of a dome stadium).
- An old friend finds a new home:
We have signed free agent DB Harold Jones-Quartey. pic.twitter.com/eUBGSMiAQP
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) March 7, 2019
- Harold Jones-Quartey hasn’t suited up for an NFL game in two years, but he is just 25 and could provide safety depth for a Chiefs secondary that could use all the help it can get.
- Move over, Bears. There is a new leader in the clubhouse when it comes to paying top dollar for block-first tight ends:
Ravens are giving tight end Nick Boyle a three-year, $18 million contract, per source. Other teams will be disappointed they didn’t get a chance at Boyle.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 7, 2019