An awkward part of this “social distancing” experience is resisting the urge to go out for the sake of going out. Not only is it irresponsible in this time (when the risks of a pandemic are real), it’s a bit selfish. I’m not here to tell anyone what to do. It is a free country and all that jazz. But there is nothing wrong with temporary minor sacrifice with preventative measures for the greater good. I’m a believer that you get out what you put in. So perhaps a little bit of a sacrifice now will position you for a greater reward in the future. At least give it some thought while you have a moment.
- The quarterback carousel is starting to spin. Ryan Tannehill received a whopper of a deal to stay in Tennessee and run it back with the Titans. His return has the QB rumor mill spinning, too. The “legal tampering” period that allows NFL teams to talk to the representatives of players who will become free agents just opened up (11 a.m. CT). So now the fun begins.
- Matt Miller (Bleacher Report) put together a list of each team’s needs before free agency opens, revealing there is no shortage of places the Bears could use help at this offseason. Miller lists cornerback, tight end, offensive tackle, interior offensive line, and quarterback as the team’s top needs. No argument here. This draft appears to be deep at tackle, which means the Bears could pluck a top prospect – perhaps one with a first-round grade if things fall perfectly – in the second round. The same cannot be said for interior offensive line spots. Sure, the tight end pool has options, though none that are necessarily first-round caliber. I’m wary of diving too deep in the quarterback pool as free agency is set to begin. We’ll re-visit later.
- A worthwhile nugget from Miller, who believes the Bears could find the veteran competition to challenge incumbent starter Mitch Trubisky could arrive in a trade. This is plausible, for sure. But it wasn’t too long after the NFL Scouting Combine when Miller mocked Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts to the Bears. Makes you think. …
- Over at The Athletic, Dan Durkin runs down the Bears’ best quarterback choices at the moment. This is all going to change once the smoke clears after the first waves of free agency. And once that happens, then we’ll move our eyes to the draft. Until then, the free agent and trade options are intriguing. Andy Dalton is an above average starter who guided the Bengals to more postseason appearances during his time in Cincinnati than the Bears have since the turn of the century. Case Keenum is a cost-effective option who is an ideal QB2 who can steward a team for stretches if QB1 goes down or is ineffective. Marcus Mariota has post-hype sleeper potential in the way that Ryan Tannehill had at this time last year as a once highly touted prospect who could use a change of scenery and a fresh set of eyes on him.
- Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater are the two options that feel best for the Bears. Carr has Alex Smith vibes as a veteran quarterback with a high floor whose time with his current team appears to be coming to an end. Trading for Carr won’t be easy, especially if the Raiders don’t land a stud free agent quarterback who would clear the way for a deal. Even then, finding a middle ground when the Bears have just three selections within the first 150 picks is another hurdle that needs to be cleared.
- Bridgewater has Alex Smith vibes, too. A quarterback who plays smart and safe, has a first-round pedigree, and tutelage under Sean Payton and Drew Brees should make him enticing for any team that needs a quarterback. But because of the deal Tannehill signed as a similar player, I’m not sure Bridgewater could fit in the Bears budget unless they were extremely creative with cuts, extensions, and restructured contracts. But because GM Ryan Pace can be unpredictable, I won’t rule out any possibility until it is totally off the board.
- The Bears sure have handed out a ton of guaranteed money:
Between 2017 and 2019 the #Jets led the NFL in full guarantees given to free agents or pending free agents at $247.2M. #Jaguars were 2nd at $220.4M, followed closely by the #49ers at $219M. Bears were only other team at $220M. NFL avg about $146M.
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) March 15, 2020
- NFL rumors flying fast already.
- Kirk Cousins continues to get paid a handsome amount of money. Not bad for a guy who is 1-5-1 against the Bears and Packers the last two seasons.
- OK, I chuckled:
Danny Trevathan was asked how he voted on the CBA and what he cared about in the deal and replied, "Nunya," which is short for "Nun ya business."
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) March 14, 2020
- Change you can believe in:
- For your listening ears:
— Bears Talk (@NBCSBears) March 16, 2020
- If you’re thinking about checking out a new streaming service during this time, you can get Disney+ (free trial) here, or the Disney/Hulu/ESPN+ bundle. When you sign up at that link, you’re supporting BN in the process, so thanks.