What a year this week has been. But we made it to Friday. Take care of yourselves … and each other.
- It will take some time to get used to Tom Brady the Buccaneer:
Tom Brady is officially a Tampa Bay Buccaneer!
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) March 20, 2020
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Excited, humble and hungry …if there is one thing I have learned about football, it’s that nobody cares what you did last year or the year before that…you earn the trust and respect of those around through your commitment every single day. I’m starting a new football journey and thankful for the @buccaneers for giving me an opportunity to do what I love to do. I look forward to meeting all my new teammates and coaches and proving to them that they can believe and trust in me…I have always believed that well done is better than well said, so I’m not gonna say much more – I’m just gonna get to work! #Year1 p.s. Jack Brady with the photocred 😀
- Or maybe it isn’t. TB in TB throwing TDs. I can see it.
- Turns out, seeing Joe Montana in a Chiefs uniform, Brett Favre rocking with the Jets and Vikings, and Jerry Rice wrapping up a Hall of Fame career wearing a Seahawks jersey prepared me for Brady in a Bucs jersey.
- If only we knew what the jerseys would look like:
— Nick Jones (@nickyjbones) March 20, 2020
- A real power move would be getting final approval for new uniform designs put into the contract. For the sake of content, I hope Brady did it — even if it is just for poops and giggles.
- Some details, with a little hint to the future …
The fact that new Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady included a clause that prevents the Bucs from tagging him after two years means he has ideas of playing beyond this contract. https://t.co/zOHT6MPz8D
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 20, 2020
- Maybe the Bears can sign him in two years for his age-45 season. (That’s my sarcasm font).
- Potential QB matchups for Brady in 2020: Drew Brees (twice), Matt Ryan (twice (Super Bowl rematch)), Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff (Super Bowl rematch), Nick Foles (Super Bowl rematch).
- The Bucs wasted little time bolstering their line after announcing the Brady signing. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets the team has agreed to terms on a contract with offensive lineman Joe Haeg. During his time with the Colts, Haeg played in 55 games (35 starts) and spent time at all spots along the offensive line. This could turn out to be a valuable signing for the Bucs.
- Ahhh, basic supply-and-demand economics: ESPN’s Jenna Laine reports Tampa Bay is raising its season-ticket prices for new customers. At least returning season-ticket holders won’t wear it. But as soon as Tampa was confirmed as a landing spot, we all knew this had to be coming. Even still, the most affordable ticket at the stadium is now $40.30. That doesn’t seem too bad.
- Adam Jahns (The Athletic) takes some time to look back at the Bears’ 2016 NFL Draft class. I love looking back at draft classes, so this piece definitely had my attention from the outset.
- Assessing this group has its challenges. Leonard Floyd was a four-year contributor, which is more that can be said about 2015 first-round pick Kevin White. But he never lived up to the promise that comes with being a top-10 pick (let alone one the team traded up to get). Then again, Vernon Hargreaves – whom the Bucs selected with the pick swap – ultimately turned out to be even more of a disappointment. Floyd was one of four starters the Bears landed in this draft, but Cody Whitehair is the only one still on the team. Nick Kwiatkoski and Jordan Howard have each moved on. Couple this draft class with the free agency signings of Akiem Hicks and Danny Trevathan, and the 2016 offseason was productive. And to think, the Bears were able to do it without breaking the bank. What a concept!
- Every team has draft misses every year, though this one stings considering the Bears’ needs then (and now). Wide receiver Michael Thomas (Round 2, Pick 47), tight end Austin Hooper (Round 3, Pick 81), and quarterback Dak Prescott (Round 4, Pick 135) stand out among the crowd. But things could be worse, the Bears could have hitched their wagons to players like wide receiver Laquon Treadwell or quarterback Paxton Lynch.
- The full list of 2016 draftees is an absolute treat.
- Todd Gurley has landed on his feet, signing a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons. It didn’t take long for Gurley to get a new gig, though that isn’t much of a surprise. Gurley will play the 2020 NFL year in his age 26 season and isn’t far removed from being one of football’s most valuable players. He won the Associated Press’ Offensive Player of the Year award in 2017, which wasn’t that long ago. Putting him in an offense with Matt Ryan at quarterback, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley on the outside, and an offense line whose arrow is pointing up, Gurley could not have picked a better place to call home.
- Here is a sobering and eye-opening stat about the running back position:
22 running backs were taken in the 2015 NFL Draft.
After Todd Gurley was released by the Rams today, not a single one of them is still with the team that selected them. pic.twitter.com/VkfR8Z945P
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 19, 2020
- Among 22 backs who’re taken in the 2015 NFL Draft who isn’t on the team that drafted him is Jeremy Langford, who the Bears took in the fourth round with pick No. 106. The career spinoff a running back is ridiculously short. Their prime years come and in the blink of an eye. Gurley, 25, ended up not playing any of the years of his extension with the Rams. That is mind blowing!
- Worth keeping in mind: The Falcons are scheduled to host the Bears in 2020.
- I bet Khalil Mack woke up in a good mood today:
$16.7M of Bears edge rusher Khalil Mack’s $17.046M 2021 base salary, which was guaranteed for injury at signing, becomes fully guaranteed today. Mack also has a fully guaranteed $3.7M roster bonus payable.
— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) March 20, 2020
- Wait … so you don’t have to wait until May to make that decision? Very interesting:
The Saints have exercised the 2021 fifth-year options on CB Marshon Lattimore and OT Ryan Ramcyzk, per source.
These are the first members of the 2017 draft class to have their options picked up. Under the new CBA, these are fully guaranteed. Two easy decisions.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 20, 2020
- Some PSAs from Da Bears:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 19, 2020
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 20, 2020
- Still playing quarterback musical chairs:
QBs on the street:
QBs on the block:
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2020
- Say what you want about the Bears’ decision at quarterback, at least they didn’t end up with Joe Flacco. And maybe I’m saying that from a place of someone who still holds a grudge for Flacco eliminating their alma mater’s football team on their home turf in the last game of a golden era. In any case, I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that in 2020.
- Just when I thought I had cornered the market on Simpsons-fueled Bears content …
Mitch Trubisky after the Bears got Nick Foles. pic.twitter.com/qRmpIQ6rpq
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) March 18, 2020
- An old friend finds a new career path:
Former BYU great Harvery Unga has been hired as Running Backs Coach at BYU!
Well deserved! After 4 years of being a GA, and helping out with the RB’s at BYU, he’s earned this prize. Can’t wait to see what he can do with these RB’s! pic.twitter.com/fX4mGF05Eu
— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) March 19, 2020
- I don’t know about you, but I’m still waiting for the Harvey Unga 2012 breakout after the Bears used a supplemental draft pick to acquire him in 2010.