I’ve never seen New York like this. And I’m sure you haven’t either. So here’s a look:
- The Bears got a little transaction crazy yesterday, so here’s a quick rundown:
- They signed offensive lineman Jason Spriggs, who started his career with the Packers. Spriggs didn’t live up to his billing as a highly touted left tackle prospect after he started four years at the position at Indiana University.
- The team also retained tight end J.P. Holtz, who looked like an able-bodied reserve when given the opportunities last year, as well as Rashaad Coward, who started a chunk of games at right guard after Kyle Long was placed on injured reserve.
- Oh … and they signed a kicker. Yep, that’s right. It’s another kicking competition — albeit, not one that will be as wild as the one we witnessed last year.
- And finally, the Bears released tight end Trey Burton.
- I wasn’t totally blindsided by the Burton move, because I had a feeling that there was a chance he could lose his gig in training camp. So I’m more surprised that the Bears didn’t give him an opportunity to show he can still get it done or that he could be healthy this summer.
- Then again, sometimes GM Ryan Pace drops hints in plain sight:
Ryan Pace on TEs on 4/3: "We know we have some decisions we have to make across the board at that position. We aren’t there yet but we are definitely happy that Jimmy is in this offense, and also that Demetrius Harris is in this offense – that’s a good addition for us as well.”
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) April 17, 2020
- We knew the Lions and Vikings were in on the Trey Burton sweepstakes when he signed with the Bears. But NFL insider Adam Caplan tweets the Saints were a team that also had its hand in the race. The Saints had been looking for a TE to be their zone-breaking pass-catcher over the middle, which is something Burton did well in his first year with the Bears. However, I’m sure they are glad to have dodged a bullet having seen injuries slow Burton down.
- Pace has received praise for some of his recent contract structuring this offseason, but that Burton deal is getting its share of criticism:
Burton's situation with the Bears is why its so important for players to get the early vesting date on the 3rd year of their contract. Burton benefited tremendously because he had that. Teams on the other hand should be really cautious with who they do it with. This was a bad use
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) April 17, 2020
- A future landing spot for Graham?
I wouldn't be surprised if Trey Burton ended up in Jacksonville. Could see Jay Gruden liking his playstyle for the #Jaguars.
— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) April 17, 2020
- It’s a shame Burton’s time with the Bears didn’t ultimately pan out. Remember how good he was early in his Bears career? Through eight games, Burton had 29 catches, 371 yards, and five touchdowns. He was on a 16-game pace of 58 catches, 742 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Those are the types of numbers the Bears thought they would be getting when they signed the deal. But in his final 16 games with the Bears, he caught just 39 passes, gained only 282 yards, and was limited to one touchdown. Ouch.
- I don’t imagine it’s easy to be a general manager who has to admit their mistakes. But when Ryan Pace’s offseason is highlighted by the free agent signings of Robert Quinn and Jimmy Graham, as well as the trade for Nick Foles, there really is no other way to think of these transactions other than the GM offering up a mea culpa for Leonard Floyd, Trey Burton, and Mitch Trubisky. And while my personal preference would be to replace these missteps with potential long-term fixtures, what the Bears have done to address their issues is a step in the right direction.
- No risk-it, no-biscuit:
Risky to do so. All have worked out. Don’t sit back and wait#NFLDraft
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) April 17, 2020
- Fortune favors the bold. Be bold. Get your dude. Don’t look back.
- And thanks for not mentioning a very obvious trade-up, Dan Orlovsky. Check’s in the mail.
- These prospect / pro ceiling comparisons are eye-opening:
QB1: Joe Burrow / NFL Ceiling: Aaron Rodgers
QB2: Tua Tagovailoa / NFL Ceiling: Drew Brees
QB3: Justin Herbert / NFL Ceiling: Carson Wentz
QB4: Jordan Love / NFL Ceiling: Josh Allen
QB5: Jalen Hurts / NFL Ceiling: Dak Prescott
QB6: Jacob Eason / NFL Ceiling: Derek Carr
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 18, 2020
- To be clear, Miller is talking “ceiling” and not “floor” — that’s a significant difference. And I can’t stop looking at Jordan Love’s NFL ceiling being Josh Allen without being worried to bits.
- On the other hand, I feel as if Carson Wentz might be too high of a ceiling for Justin Herbert to reach. Wentz was an NFL MVP candidate in 2017 before suffering a season-ending injury. Does Herbert have future MVP vibes? I’m not totally convinced.
- New kicker highlights:
A 50-yarder to end the half!
Ramiz Ahmed cuts into the @ToledoFB lead as time expires.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 22, 2018
— Nevada Football (@NevadaFootball) October 21, 2018
— Nevada Football (@NevadaFootball) October 21, 2018
- Well it’s certainly noteworthy that Ahmed worked out with Kohl’s Kicking Camp …
- … and John Carney’s kicking school:
Man vs Sand… Man victorious today!
Congrats to top sand cheetahs: Ramiz Ahmed, Tyler Bass, Cooper Rothe! #CarneyCoaching #NFLprep #NFL #kickersarepeopletoo #forthebrand #CTFstrong #Carlsbad #puntersarepeopletoo pic.twitter.com/ZVD8a4BUme
— Carney Coaching (@CarneyCoaching) February 20, 2020
- If you’ll recall, the Bears hired Jamie Kohl as a kicking consultant last year. And Pace checked in with Carney camp kickers last year. That’s worth storing away for future reference, as Carney and Pace crossed paths as both spent time with the New Orleans Saints organization.
- I’m all for bringing the Chicago guy home for a wonderful front office opportunity:
REPORT: Bulls Have Interviewed Mavericks VP of Basketball Operations Michael Finley for Vacant GM Gighttps://t.co/07mhoWdZF5
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) April 18, 2020
- A big-picture BN update:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) April 17, 2020
- The Eero mesh wi-fi system that Brett uses is on a big sale at Amazon right now. His recommendations are generally pretty darn good, as I still vouch for the backpack he swore by years ago. #ad