Arch Madness weekend is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s the tournament for America’s renaissance conference that decides the automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament. During the prime years of the 2000s, the Missouri Valley Conference was a perennial multi-bid league. Things have changed in recent years, as defections have left the Valley to be a one-bid league. I’m hoping my beloved Salukis have what it takes to do the thing and get to NCAA Tournament for the first time since I was a student. Jeez, 2007 feels like ages ago.
- Who better to receive The Ed Block Courage Award than Allen Robinson?
- Each of the NFL’s 32 teams selects an Ed Block Courage Award winner, someone who represents a commitment to sportsmanship, courage, professionalism, and are considered to be role models in their community, and Robinson checks all the boxes. We all know about his excellence on the field as the Bears’ leading receiver. But between this achievement and his nomination as the team’s representative as the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner, we should definitely give Robinson props for what he does off the field, too.
- Now … how about extending him a contract that keeps him in Chicago for a loooooooong time?
- On the same day the Philadelphia Eagles announced they were allowing their long-time left tackle to hit the market, it was reported that Washington’s football team was giving its top tackle a chance to seek a trade elsewhere:
The Washington Redskins are giving Trent Williams an opportunity seek a trade per sources.
— Dianna (@diannaESPN) March 5, 2020
Washington OT Trent Williams has been given permission to seek a trade through his agent Vincent Taylor, as @diannaESPN has reported. Here is video of Williams working out this week. pic.twitter.com/FwAeT5ELMO
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 5, 2020
- Trent Williams plays bops when he works out. Please trade for this man!
- Williams, who turns 32 in July, is a seven-time Pro Bowler and one of the league’s best blind-side protectors when he is on the field. He sat out the 2019 season after having surgery to remove a growth from his head, which kicked off a public beef between Williams and Washington’s medical personnel — one that culminated in him sitting out the entire 2019 season.
- So … the Bears should trade for him, right? Oh, if only it were so easy. It’s not that I wouldn’t want Trent Williams on the Bears or that he wouldn’t be an upgrade. Williams is a great left tackle who would be an improvement from Charles Leno Jr. But multiple sources have indicated to ESPN’s John Keim that Williams wants an extension and would want to become the league’s highest-paid tackle. And when you’re a seven-time Pro Bowler, you can make those types of contract demands because you have certainly earned it. Thing is, the Bears have two pretty highly paid tackles and a highly compensated center. The Bears have a tight cap situation and needs at other positions. It’s a tough squeeze, to say the least.
- Even if the Bears were to cut Leno to make way for Williams, the cap savings would be minimal and the dead money hit would be less than ideal. Cutting Bobby Massie would actually cause the Bears to lose available cap space, so that’s out the window. Again, it’s not that I wouldn’t like Williams on the Bears. I’m all about upgrading the offensive line. It’s just that realistic options at tackle are limited right now.
- Hub Arkush (Pro Football Weekly) has an idea on how to improve the line, though it doesn’t include a trade for Williams. Arkush’s ideal offseason includes the Bears signing Jason Peters, the Eagles left tackle who will explore free agency, and cutting Charles Leno Jr. in the process. Cutting Leno would move the Bears’ available cap space from $24,230,111 to $26,620,111. Should the Bears spend conservatively elsewhere – such as quarterback, tight end, and inside linebacker – then perhaps I can justify investing a chunk of change at left tackle. Even then … Peters is 38 and there will come a point where the Bears would need to find a long-term solution.
- Akiem Hicks is a monster:
- It’s never too early to bet on the NFC North:
BetOnline sets opening odds for the NFC North—
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) March 3, 2020
- YEP. I’m gonna need this bobblehead:
Independent baseball team, the Chicago Dogs, have signed Mike Ditka to a one-day managing contract. He will be co-managing the team’s season opener. Players will wear vest jerseys and fans will get bobbleheads. pic.twitter.com/GuoCxB42JF
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 6, 2020
- This should be good listening:
In @ZimmermanSXM's latest Bears Banter Podcast on the WCG Channel, he's joined by NFL Insider @AllbrightNFL to get all the juicy bits of #Bears and #NFL info he heard while down at the #NFLCombine. This one is a MUST LISTEN! https://t.co/V07s6Xz6rF
— Windy City Gridiron (@WCGridiron) March 5, 2020
- FitzMagic checks in with an approval of the proposed CBA:
Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is a yes on the proposed CBA pic.twitter.com/kmmZWPaCoN
— trey wingo (@wingoz) March 6, 2020
- My gut says the majority of the NFLPA will vote to ratify the deal. It might be by the slimmest of margins, because there are plenty of high profile players who aren’t all-in on it just yet. But I just hope they’re not signing a deal they’ll regret in a few years.
CenturyLink Field vendor who worked XFL game diagnosed with coronavirus https://t.co/A3ZKf7hJpe
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) March 6, 2020
- Still going on today:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) March 5, 2020
- A Talkin’ Toros/BN Bulls crossover special:
New pod! @Schuster_Elias joined us to talk about the state of the #Bulls. Plus, Coby's improvement and @SouvenirCity gives his case for LeBron as MVP. https://t.co/am3NOv46MQ@Mphelps11 @lcm1986 #bullsnation #NBATwitter
— Talkin' Toros (@TalkinToros) March 6, 2020