I can’t wait for the 2020 NFL season to roll out if this is what it will look like:
- Stephen Campbell of Odds Shark has an early look at the futures market for the NFC North, which figures to be competitive once again. The defending division champion Packers are the favorites at +125 (meaning that if you put down a $100 wager, you would win $125 on top of what you put in). But based on the odds given to the Vikings (+200) and Bears (+300), it doesn’t look like the Packers have a stranglehold on the crown.
- I would be hesitant to throw money at the Bears right now, but there is some value in rolling the dice at this current price. It was a this time last year when the Packers were underdogs coming off a disappointing season and set to take on a third-place schedule in the year to come. Perhaps the Bears could use that to their advantage. But because other teams will go through offseason changes, too, that third-place schedule might be tougher in September than it looks at the moment.
- The Lions added all those ex-Patriots with all that championship pedigree, and they are still the longest of long-shots to win the division at +800. A ton has to go right for the Lions, while a bunch of things have to go wrong for the rest of the division to make that ticket a winner. Good luck with that if you decide to make it your play.
- A futures bet on the Bears is one that is made with the hope that the defense maintains its excellence and the offense gets an up-tick in production from embattled incumbent starter Mitch Trubisky or newly acquired Nick Foles. If Chicago gets decent quarterback play, the team will be in the running for a postseason spot. But if the Bears don’t, then they could ultimately find their draft positioning to be in a place to take a shot at a long-term replacement option in the 2021 NFL Draft. But just as it is ridiculously early to look at odds for the division race, it is equally wild to look toward drafting a quarterback in 2021. Then again, it’s never too early … is it?
- Bears All Access touches on the team’s free agency moves, while also catching up with linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe, whose parents are working in the healthcare profession during this time of crisis:
- Even as the first wave of signings in our rear-view mirror, the Bears remain busy. They added cornerback Artie Burns on Saturday, then brought in more safety help with Jordan Lucas on Sunday.
- Earlier today, we discussed some details that emerged from Jimmy Graham’s free agent deal. It is still a bit mind-boggling to think about how Graham went from being cut by the Packers from a deal that saved them $8 million in cap space to signing with the Bears on a deal that guarantees $9 million and includes a no-trade clause. I hope the Bears get a bounce-back year from Graham that makes my hesitance when it comes to getting totally behind this move look silly, but I can’t get past how the optics don’t look great.
- On the other side of the ball, Field Yates shares a list of free agents that would make for solid additions for any team:
Notable free agent "All-Defense: team:
Edge: Jadeveon Clowney, Everson Griffen, Markus Golden
DT: Ndamukong Suh, Shelby Harris
LB: Nigel Bradham, Josh Bynes, Wesley Woodyard
CB: Logan Ryan, Prince Amukamara
Slot: Nickell Robey-Coleman
S: Vonn Bell, Eric Reid
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 22, 2020
- Joe Douglas, the Jets GM who spent some time working for the Bears under Ryan Pace, has done some good work to re-work the offensive line:
- I did not know this .gif existed, but I’m glad to know it does:
— Gabriel David (@Pumpi91) March 22, 2020
- ESPN’s Seth Wickersham tells the story of Tom Brady’s final days with the New England Patriots. Wickersham weaves anecdotes that all lead to the split between Brady, Bill Belichick, and the only team he had ever known before signing a free agent deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It is a layered and complex tale, so give it some time to marinate while you read.
- The market for Cam Newton is struggling to take shape:
— VSiN (@VSiNLive) March 22, 2020