If the projected weekend forecast holds up, I’m going to take some time to throw a couple steaks on the grill. Because once the temperatures hit 45 in Chicago, it’s officially spring. Those are the rules, my friends. I just abide by them.
- This is cruel to think about in hindsight:
- The idea of Love Smith getting the Bears to the playoffs five times in his coaching career, including each of the final three years is one of those things that could have been a game-changer. Smith probably isn’t canned after a 10-6 year in 2012. Perhaps Brian Urlacher hangs on for another year and the Bears bring in reinforcements to the defense for one last run. At minimum, we avoid watching Mel Tucker’s defense give up gobs of points and Marc Trestman’s offense peak too soon before sputtering out in the end. The alternate timeline that would have followed the Bears making the postseason in 2011 and 2012 is something I don’t want to think about any more.
- ICYMI: The reason anyone is thinking about missed opportunities of postseasons that slipped through the Bears’ fingertips is that the NFL is reportedly ready to throw down with a landscape-shaping proposal for the new CBA. More playoff teams! More playoff games! Fewer preseason games! A 17-game schedule! And more!
- Six games on Wild-Card Weekend sounds like fun, but I’m leery of expanded playoffs. The last thing I’m interested in as a fan is rewarding mediocrity. Everyone loves the idea of more playoff teams until the 8-8 and 7-9 teams show up to the party. I also don’t love the devaluing of the regular season. Seeing a team’s playoff lives come down to Week 17 was great drama. It made for exceptional late-season action that simply can’t be replicated. Does that go away when there’s an extra playoff spot? I sure hope not. Because if so, then that’s a misstep for the NFL.
- ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that part of the proposed deal is an increase in the players’ share of the revenue, which would go from 47 percent to 48 percent of the share in a 16-game schedule, then roll to a 48.5 percent share when the 17-game schedule takes place. Or, to put it a different way, an additional $5 billion of revenue going to the players. That’s a spicy meatball!
- Don’t give them any ideas, Dan:
If the NFL is truly serious about making money, the playoffs should just be a per-conference round robin really. It wouldn’t be hard to get the Super Bowl pushed back into April, closer to the draft. Ya know?
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) February 20, 2020
- Would the expanded postseason aspect change how the Bears approach the offseason? Should it play a role in how the team re-shapes the quarterback room this year? Could it impact how the team goes about spending its available cap space? These are all fair questions to ask. Hence, it would be great for the new CBA to get the green light sooner rather than later. Because once that gets the OK from all parties, we can truly shift our focus to the year ahead.
- In an attempt to bolster the depth of a battered tight ends room, the Bears signed Demetrius Harris off from the scrap heap. Harris was on the Browns last year, but made it through just the first of a two-year deal in Cleveland. Prior to his stop there, Harris spent five years with the Kansas City Chiefs, including four with Matt Nagy. Harris isn’t going to be the type of threat on offense the Bears need to make Nagy’s offense go, but there is value in depth and basic knowledge of the system from the “Y” position.
- As things currently stand, Harris joins Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker, and Jesper Horsted in the tight ends room. J.P. Holtz could still possibly return as an exclusive-rights free agent. I’m not sure it would make much sense to carry Harris, Shaheen, and Braunecker to play opposite of Burton’s “U” tight end role. So I feel as if someone in that group of Shaheen, Braunecker, and Horsted is likely to be sent packing at some point this offseason.
- There is a feeling among some fans that the Bears should cut ties with Burton this offseason. And while I understand the feeling that comes after his disappointing 2019 season, saving $1.05 million to take on a $7.5 million hit in dead money is bad business. If push comes to shove, cutting Burton in 2021 would come with a cap savings of $7.1 million and an estimated dead money hit of $1.75 million.
- This is certainly a thought:
I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the #Bears head into the thick of the offseason with a bunch of different TEs in OTAs/camp.
They know it is a position of need.
— Matt Eurich (@MattEurich) February 19, 2020
- Re-imagining the Bears’ kicking competition, but at the tight end position. I’d be far more excited about this concept if it was to be played out on the spacious practice fields in Bourbonnais.
- BACK OFF, PHILLY:
He wasn't in my initial list of potential linebacker replacements for Nigel Bradham, but he can play MIKE and SAM and is a good blitzer. He also probably fits the price range.
— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) February 19, 2020
- TMZ Sports catches up with Kyle Long, who has some great post-NFL career goals in mind:
- Tony Romo, but for football simpletons? Hey, there are worse things to be called!
- PFF asks a question:
Who is the starting QB for each of these teams in 2020?
— PFF (@PFF) February 19, 2020
- My answers are as follows: 2007 Tom Brady, 2002 Brad Johnson, Tyrod Taylor, 1995 Jim Harbaugh, 1991 Dan Marino, 2005 Jake Delhomme, Brian Hoyer, Jon Gruden, the Force Ghost of Steve McNair. BOOM! I’m a problem solver!
- George Halas was a man of many interests:
George Halas was a pioneer, in more than just football.
The story of Papa Bear's venture into professional basketball. ⤵️
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 19, 2020
- That’s … a lot:
Browns’ OT Greg Robinson was alleged to have 157 pounds – 157 pounds! – of marijuana in “several large duffle bags in the rear cargo area” in El Paso, Texas today. pic.twitter.com/O7UyfW7AqO
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 20, 2020
- C’mon, Bulls! Do the right thing:
Obsessive Bulls Front Office Watch: Multiple Hires? Big Names Being Thrown Around, Money Not an Issue, Morehttps://t.co/wdb2l0XDgj
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) February 19, 2020