If I have a slice of cheesecake for breakfast, then eggs & chorizo for dinner, it all balances out. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself today.
• Brace yourselves. The quarterback rumor mill stuff is gonna get fun. So we might as well start from the top:
Word I get is the Bears have made inquiries on Deshaun Watson and Matthew Stafford. The soon to be ex-Lions QB has them listed among his top four destinations.
It seems unlikely the Lions would trade him here.
— George Ofman (@georgeofman) January 28, 2021
• George Ofman is a long-time Chicago sports reporter. So it doesn’t surprise me to see he’s heard some things. Let’s briefly discuss them, starting with the nugget that the Bears have inquired about the availability of Deshaun Watson and Matthew Stafford. We know Stafford and the Lions are having a mutual parting of ways. And while the Texans haven’t said they are trading Watson, we saw Watson’s trade request go public. More importantly, we know the Bears are desperate for quarterback help and sound willing to take a big swing. Player availability? Check. A need at the position? Double check. It’s good to establish a sturdy floor when talking about some of these landscape-shifting rumors.
• With that being established, let’s circle back to the concept of Chicago checking in on those quarterbacks. The Bears are considered a sleeper team in the Watson sweepstakes. Additionally, some strong hints have been already dropped regarding the Bears’ potential pursuit of Watson. Moreover, I think it’s something to hear NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport name-check the Bears multiple times while offering updates regarding teams who have made calls and checked in with the Texans. All in all, the Watson stuff checks out. And any further confirmation regarding the Bears’ interest can be injected straight into my veins at any time or place.
• The challenge here is with Stafford. Nearly one-third of the league’s teams have reportedly inquired about Stafford’s availability. That’s not a bad number considering there’s about 10-12 teams who have (or will soon have) their QB position locked in for 2021. But with that many teams kicking the tires on Stafford, the Lions probably don’t have to give the Bears’ interest much thought. In a market with few buyers, maybe Detroit might have to consider trading Stafford within the division. But with as many as a dozen teams wanting to know what’s up on the Stafford front, the Lions could leave the Bears on read and not think twice about it.
• I mention all this as a reminder of how important it is to have context, depth, and comprehension of more than just quarterback names and interested parties. Otherwise, we get things like a teaser tweet saying: The Bears are the latest team suggested to be interested in trading for Vikings QB Kirk Cousins this offseason. Does Chicago have an interest in upgrading the quarterback position? Yes. Are there real hurdles in trading within the division? Also, yes. But there’s a difference in “this team could use a quarterback, therefore make sense as a logical suitor” and making the connection to suggest the Bears are interested in trading for Player X. I love following rumors as much as the next guy, but let’s be cautious about what we read, hear, and share.
• Handling the rumor mill has its challenges, but I love how Adams Jahns and Hoge handle them with their podcast:
NEW Hoge & Jahns!
📸USA Today pic.twitter.com/MB2IxtG8A3
— The Athletic Chicago (@TheAthleticCHI) January 28, 2021
• How could you say no to this?
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) January 28, 2021
• Topical and timely:
— James Daniels (@jamsdans) January 28, 2021
• And more than that, James Daniels hinting his stonk is on the rise as he works his way back from injury is some of the best news a Bears fan can read. If you’ll recall, Daniels suffered a season-ending pectoral injury against the Buccaneers earlier this season. At that time, the Bears’ offensive line was performing admirably. But more than that, Daniels appeared to be playing his best ball since coming into the league. The line struggled initially after his absence, but eventually gained traction after the bye after playing musical chairs with the group. Next year, an interior featuring Daniels and Cody Whitehair at guard could help make this unit a strength in 2021. But only if they solidify the tackle position and unearth a strong center. In the end, the most important thing right now is Daniels’ health is a stock on the rise.
• The sky is the limit for a healthy Jaylon Johnson:
Jaylon Johnson: 14 forced incompletions this season
Led all rookies DBs ❌ 🔒 pic.twitter.com/MvGTTS1GNe
— PFF (@PFF) January 29, 2021
• Love seeing this:
From #52 & crew to Unit 52 🙏@FiftyDeuce & several other players surprised @advocatehealth COVID-19 health care workers with Bears swag to thank them for all their hard work and sacrifice during the pandemic. https://t.co/zzM5Yl4W7t
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 29, 2021
• It’s been a while since the Bulls have had someone worthy of being discussed as an all-star:
You Can Now Vote for Zach LaVine to be an All-Star … So What Are You Waiting For?https://t.co/Gf13Bs8Eaa
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 28, 2021
• Hoping for the best here:
Bowman: The “Scary Rumors” About Jonathan Toews Are Not Truehttps://t.co/d8Y0u5eI7A
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) January 29, 2021