The last 48 hours have been draining, but I’m doing my part to keep complaints at a minimum. In fact, I was motivated enough to round up a bunch of food for the soul yesterday in an attempt to kick the bad vibes. Nothing like baklava from the Greek bakery to put you in a better mental space. With that being said, here’s another reminder that it’s OK to unplug if that’s what you need to keep your wits about you.
- On a day that was mired in postponements, cancellations, and shut-downs, news of the Bears re-signing linebacker Danny Trevathan gave me a necessary jolt of energy. And with good reason. Trevathan has been a core member of this defense since 2016. When healthy, Trevathan has been one of football’s most productive inside linebackers. This isn’t the premium position it once was, but a player with Trevathan’s instincts, ability to cover in space, defend against the run, and offer up a timely pass-rushing blitz makes him a valuable piece to the puzzle.
- The obvious downside to this deal is that it probably means the end of Nick Kwiatkoski’s time in Chicago. And to be honest, it will sting a little to watch him sign elsewhere. Kwiatkoski represents one of GM Ryan Pace’s draft-weekend success stories that gets overlooked because he wasn’t a full-time starter. Snagging a fourth-round pick who can start in a pinch, thrive in a role as a special teams ace, and even contribute on offense by catching a two-point conversion when called upon is a tremendous value. It’s unfortunate that jack-of-many trades types tend to be undervalued by the masses, but one team is going to get a solid contributor in free agency. Hope it’s not the Packers.
- If Kwiatkoski leaves for greener pastures and more green in his pocket, it could help position the Bears for a compensatory draft pick in 2021. We’re a long way from figuring that out. And I’m not even sure a new Collective Bargaining Agreement would carry the same formula. But it is something to keep in mind as the Bears navigate through free agency.
- No Kwiatkoski, no problem? I’m not ready to go that far, but the time is coming for Josh Woods and Joel Iyiegbuniwe to step up their games. These two inside linebackers have been mostly special teams contributors with limited defensive snaps, but will soon be in line to be primary backups behind Trevathan and Roquan Smith. This isn’t necessarily a knock on them or their futures, but the Bears would be wise to add competition among the reserve ILBs. I wouldn’t use premium draft capital or free agent dollars to address it, but finding a late-round pick (the Bears do have two seventh-rounders) or locate a priority free agent who could be the next Kwiatkoski.
- Ultimately, if it turns out the Bears signed a better player for a lesser long-term cost, tenths will be viewed as a good move by the team. Please stay healthy, #59.
- It’s the first domino to fall in what is essentially the most important offseason of the Ryan Pace era. And while I’m unsure if NFL’s free agency period will start as scheduled (it might not!), it should certainly be an entertaining time to follow rumors and transactions alike.
- Elsewhere, the Bears issued a statement about COVID-19 and canceled their draft party. All in the name of taking preventative measures. Good for them. Good for the other teams that are doing similar things. Good for the attempt to stem the further spread of this virus.
- The NFL Draft is still going to go on as scheduled. For now …
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2020
- Having contingency plans is good.
- Whenever free agency begins, this top-10 list of available free agents is a good resource:
Need a distraction today? I did a deep dive on the 10 best non-QB offensive free agents. https://t.co/ptZkarLYJv
— Robert Mays (@robertmays) March 12, 2020
- Three tight ends. Two right guards. Four wide receivers. No mention of the Bears as a possible landing spot, though my gut is starting to get a sense that the big splash isn’t coming unless it’s at quarterback (if at all).
- Free agency is a buyer beware market. Tadd Haislop (Sporting News) provides a reminder of what happens when things go south. The Mike Glennon signing pops up as the second worst NFL free agency signing over the last 10 years. I still maintain that the free agent deal Glennon received wasn’t as bad as it is made out to be, if only because of how it was constructed. Some folks get caught up in the 3-yr/$45M part of it, when it amounted to a one-year deal that helped the Bears reach the spending floor and provided ample smokescreen for their draft plans. Of course, this would be an afterthought had their draft plans resulted in something better than what they have now, but that’s a different conversation for a different time.
- The XFL’s re-boot year is in the books with the league postponing play. But XFL-related news could just be getting started:
The XFL has advised players they can sign immediately with teams in the NFL or any other league once their exit physicals are complete tomorrow, per sources. So for the stars — Josh Johnson, P.J. Walker, Jordan Ta’amu, et al. — a chance to land quickly.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 13, 2020
- Perspective from the players side of things in the wake of world-wide news and the current state of CBA negotiations:
— Thomas Morstead (@thomasmorstead) March 12, 2020