It hit me hard yesterday when I realized I was going to have to cancel some travel plans that were supposed to happen in the not-too-distant future. And while I know I’ll be back in the air as soon as I get the green light, I realize I have to brace myself for other future cancelations. It stinks. But it’s the right thing to do for myself and others. Selflessness over selfishness. It’s not that hard.
- If you thought the last few days of following football movement has been fun, the next layer gets peeled back this afternoon as the “legal tampering” gloves come off for the signing and execution of the deals we’ve been talking about since Monday. We’ll also see some other manuevers by teams (Bears included) looking to create space with cuts, extensions, and contract restructures. Stay tuned.
- Are you ready for some football (transaction analysis)?
ESPN has 5 hours of NFL Live and SportsCenter specials focused on the first official day of NFL Free Agency today. Our programming update for Wed: pic.twitter.com/zBTrFE25Ic
— bill hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) March 18, 2020
- Larry Mayer of the Bears’ official website does a Q&A with free agency FAQ. With a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in place for the next 10 years, the present represents a good time for a refresher.
- Of all the things that have happened with the Bears over the last two days, this thought couldn’t escape my mind:
Kevin White: Drafted in 2015, didn't make it to Year 5 of his first contract.
Leonard Floyd: Drafted in 2016, didn't make it to Year 5 of his first contract.
Mitch Trubisky: Drafted in 2017, on the verge of facing competition in Year 4 of his first contract.
This is troubling.
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) March 17, 2020
- GM Ryan Pace has had three top-10 picks since taking over as GM in 2015. Two are no longer on the team. The third is on the verge of facing competition by way of a veteran presence in Year 4 of his rookie deal. This is not ideal under any circumstances. The Bears were supposed to be drafting a clear-cut WR1, a quarterback-sacking menace, and a franchise quarterback with those selections. If things break the right way, the Bears are set at three of the most important positions on the football chain of command. Instead, the team is stuck in a predicament.
- This isn’t too ay Pace is full of nothing but swings and misses. His drafts have produced plenty of quality starters. The selections of Eddie Goldman, Adrian Amos, Cody Whitehair, Nick Kwiatkoski, Jordan Howard, Eddie Jackson, and Tarik Cohen helped build out the necessary depth for a competitive team in 2018. But the first-round picks are supposed to carry their share of the weight and lift the players around them on the roster. That hasn’t happened, which is why the Bears are where they are at the moment.
- To be clear, this isn’t some gloom-and-doom “all is lost” kind of moment. Just a sharing of perspective as to why the Bears are spending $30 million in guarantees on a pass-rusher and in the market for quarterback help. At least the Allen Robinson signing in free agency has helped soften the blow of the Kevin White pick not panning out.
- Thanks for the memories, guys:
Words can’t describe how incredibly grateful my family is for our time in Chicago. We loved the city with all our hearts but it’s time for a new adventure in Detroit!!! We can’t wait to get to work!! #OnePride
P.S. I really like playing at Ford Field!!! pic.twitter.com/da66GtSpxX
— Chase Daniel (@ChaseDaniel) March 17, 2020
- Chase Daniel is a master of finesse. According to Over The Cap, he has $37,277,217 of career earnings and could make up to $13 million more thanks to the deal he signed with Detroit. Making a career as a quarterback in the NFL is hard. But if you can do enough of the little things right to hang around, the fallback of being a career backup is quite lucrative.
- An old friend is on the verge of finding a new home:
Dolphins and former Eagles' RB Jordan Howard reached agreement on a two-year deal worth north of $10 million, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2020
- After watching his numbers take a tumble in his final two years in Chicago, Howard saw an up-tick in production in 2019. Howard increased his yards per carry average from 3.7 to 4.4 yards. Injuries slowed him down and kept him out of the lineup for six games. But when he was healthy, he ran to a 212-carry, 933-yard, and 11-touchdown pace. Not bad. Howard proved there was room for his style of running back in Matt Nagy’s system by performing admirably under Doug Pederson. Hopefully, Nagy watches tape and is inspired by what he saw. As for Howard, he enters 2020 set to play in his age 26 season. He is still young enough to make some hay on this two-year deal and still have an extended career.
- It’s nuts that Tom Brady is going to be a Buccaneer. The Bucs are on the Bears’ 2020 schedule. Which means you’ll get (at least) one more chance at seeing the best to ever do it perform. The Bears have never beaten Brady, so I think this would be a good time to knock that off the bucket list.
- So if you’ve seen Joe Montana play for the Chiefs, Brett Favre suit up for the Vikings and Jets, Jerry Rice catch passes for the Seahawks, then Brady’s Bucs coming to Soldier Field is definitely must-see-TV for you.
- Also … Jason Witten on the Raiders? That just doesn’t feel right.
- There are situations when the best transaction is not making one at all. And while I implored the Bears to do something with the offensive line in free agency, I’m not sure this would have been the right move:
#Jets agreed to terms with starting G Alex Lewis: 3 years, $18.6m, $6m fully guaranteed, source confirmed.
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 17, 2020
- Alex Lewis, 27, has 35 games of experience with the Ravens (2016-18) and Jets (2019. He made 15 appearances (12 starts) for last year’s Jets squad and earned a 56.1 grade from Pro Football Focus for his efforts. That ranked 57th among 80 qualified guards. That’s not the type of upgrade I was hoping the Bears would make, even though he has age on his side.
- Our friends at BN Bulls are missing out on all the fun right now …
NBA players watching the NFL have all the fun … pic.twitter.com/hdZMXJpcBS
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) March 17, 2020
- … but will have their fun in due time:
Throwback Time: Let’s Replace the Next 14 Bulls Games with Some of the Greatest Games of All-Timehttps://t.co/55TrV7KUA4
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) March 17, 2020
- I can’t believe what I just saw or heard:
Mike Greenberg on air just now “You might be seeing on social media some incendiary claims made by Michael Irvin, we’re making all the necessary calls to verify those claims now.”
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) March 18, 2020
Michael Irvin said DeAndre Hopkins told him that Bill O’Brien compared him to Aaron Hernandez and didn’t like his having multiple baby mamas around pic.twitter.com/7hwl7p2YlR
— Ryan Glasspiegel (@sportsrapport) March 18, 2020