I’m planning on late lunch at one of my favorite taquerias later today. Nothing like ordering from a family owned and operated taco joint to make me feel right and shake the doldrums that have arrived early in the week.
• Cam Newton remains the most high-profile free agent quarterback on the market. And so long as he’s out there, discussions will persist about his potential fit around the league. Joseph Person of The Athletic checked in with a handful of beat writers around the league in search of a fit. Check it out:
Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton have found NFL homes. Cam Newton is still looking.@josephperson spoke with some of @TheAthleticNFL beat writers about whether or not he's a fit. Here are seven of those scenarios:https://t.co/AC5TIS4vHQ pic.twitter.com/uPwU8NT3U0
— The Athletic Carolina (@TheAthleticCAR) May 4, 2020
• It was interesting to see Adam Jahns asked to chime in from a Chicago Bears perspective, but Jahns made it pretty clear that Chicago wasn’t in the picture. And yet, I couldn’t help but ask myself if the Bears should be interested. I mean, in the spirit of an open competition, would Newton make sense as someone who could bring something to the group? If healthy, sure. But until teams can evaluate him for themselves, Newton is going to remain a free agent.
• At this point, it would make sense for Newton to continue with his own personal rehab, wait out current travel restrictions, and position himself to be checked out by team doctors en route to getting a new gig. Newton could find himself in a position in which he is waiting out a starter getting hurt or shows to be ineffective in training camp. And while no one roots for injuries or for poor performance, it could be Newton’s clearest path to a starting gig.
• There are some dissenting opinions that conclude that it was a mistake that the Bears did not pick up the fifth-year option on quarterback Mitch Trubisky’s rookie deal. Among them, Mark Dominik, who was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ GM from 2009-13. Here are his thoughts on the matter:
• Dominik tries to pave a path to the declining of the deal being a mistake, offering up the scenario in which Trubisky performs at a high level in 2020, which would then lead the Bears to use the Franchise tag to retain his services. And while that isn’t totally out of the realm of possibilities, Dominik is incorrect when he says the Franchise tag is “a much more significant number” than the fifth-year option tag. The difference in costs between the Franchise tag and fifth-year option is something we have gone over before, but it’s worth pointing out again. The fifth-year option on Trubisky’s deal was estimated to be worth $24.8 million for 2021. Meanwhile, the 2020 Franchise tag total for quarterbacks was $26.824 million. That isn’t a “significant” difference in cost if you actually look at it. Hence, a reason as to why Chicago’s front office was probably OK with not picking up Trubisky’s option knowing that a Franchise (or Transition) tag could be available as a fall-back option.
• Speaking of fifth-year options, here’s one that wasn’t picked up that took me by surprise:
Colts are declining the fifth-year option of safety Malik Hooker, per source.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 4, 2020
• So long as the Bears continue to play safety roulette with Eddie Jackson’s tag team partner, I’m going to have an eye on the futures market at the position. Which means I’m definitely keeping tabs on what’s up with Malik Hooker this year and into next offseason.
• Hooker’s option was the last of the fifth-year options to be announced, and frankly, came as a surprise to me. He has been solid in the Colts’ secondary, has missed just five games over the last two years, and the fifth-year option would have cost Indy a base salary of just $6.7 million. That’s a bargain for a first-round pick with his pedigree and potential.
• Timo Riske (PFF) examines the trades that were made on NFL Draft weekend. And among the conclusions he drew from the deals that I found most interesting was this: “Future picks aren’t regarded very highly, at least by teams that are willing to give them up on draft day. If a team is fine with reaping the fruits of their work at a later point, adding future draft capital could be another market inefficiency.”
• The Vikings-Bears trade came to mind as soon as I read this. Minnesota racked up future draft selections and could certainly benefit down the road should their volume strategy yield a late-round break-through performer. Though, I must say that bringing in as many rookies as they plan to this year in a season where there won’t be a traditional offseason program comes with a bit of risk.
• The latest episode of Talkin’ Toros discusses the last two episodes of “The Last Dance” documentary showing on ESPN and Netflix. Yours truly goes deep into his shoe collection to talk about the GOAT’s shoes, which happen to be the GOAT shoes:
🚨NEW POD! Ep 39 recaps #TheLastDance episodes 5 & 6. The Shoe Game was on point. And were MJ and Pip out of line when they went against Toni the first time in '92? #bulls #BullsNation https://t.co/Pht4UWspmd @Mphelps11 @SouvenirCity @lcm1986
— Talkin' Toros (@TalkinToros) May 5, 2020
• An old friend finds a new home:
The #Jaguars added depth on the edge, signing veteran DE/OLB Aaron Lynch to a 1-year deal.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 5, 2020
• I hope Frank Gore plays forever:
Standout veteran RB Frank Gore is signing a 1-year deal with the Jets, @RosenhausSports tells ESPN. Gore will be reunited with his former coach Adam Gase, with whom he spent the 2018 season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 5, 2020
• Ah jeez:
A nug you may have missed from the @MS_DHS audit released today: Mississippi paid $1.1 million in welfare money to quarterback Brett Favre to appear at events. And then he didn’t go. pic.twitter.com/uMq2Y9mDdV
— Anna Wolfe (@ayewolfe) May 4, 2020
• It’s not an easy job, but somebody’s gotta do it:
So You Want to Build a Winning Culture?https://t.co/VkVjhjb6mP
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) May 4, 2020
• Some of these Nostalgia items at Amazon – for making treats and stuff – are pretty awesome. Your own little chocolate fountain? Come on. #ad