Dick Butkus and Peanut Tillman walk into a (virtual) bar:
• Announcing a big trade on Super Bowl weekend wouldn’t sit right with those who sit in league offices. But I suppose things could be agreed upon beforehand. Even still … Colts GM Chris Ballard said no trade is imminent, all while his team and the Bears (yep!) were connected to Carson Wentz in yesterday’s round of trade rumors.
• It’s fun to think about how Ballard and Bears GM Ryan Pace making a run at the same guy. The two finalists for the Bears GM gig in 2015 on the hunt for a position they haven’t adequately filled to pull together a roster that made the postseason this past season. You couldn’t draw up a better storyline if you tried.
• A Carson Wentz sweepstakes is fascinating to me. A year ago at this time, we’d have viewed Wentz as untouchable. He was coming off a 4,039-yard, 27-touchdown season in which he threw just seven interceptions. The 2019 season marked the third consecutive season in which Wentz posted a sub-2.0% INT%, with a tidy 1.2 INT% coming in 2019. Sure, the 2020 season was a disaster for Wentz. There’s no putting makeup on that pig. Nor is there any way to deny or talk around it. But the rest of the data points for Wentz are encouraging enough to have me interested in what Wentz could do with a change of scenery.
• I’m sharing this video of Bears QB Coach John DeFilippo (then with the Eagles) breaking down Carson Wentz for no reason in particular:
• Alex Shapiro (NBC Sports Chicago) runs down a subset of Bears fans who aren’t happy to see Wentz’s name linked to the Bears. Then again, you’re not going to make everyone happy. You could put Peyton Manning’s head on a body with Jay Cutler’s arm and Michael Vick’s legsand it still wouldn’t make some Bears fans happy.
• Once we put a bow on this football season, I’ll fully dive into what will be the most important offseason of the Ryan Pace/Matt Nagy era. And while we’ll have an obvious focus on what happens at quarterback, we also need to keep in mind Chicago’s other needs. For instance, this feels like a good time to have needs along the offensive line:
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 6, 2021
• Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma), Robert Hainsey (Notre Dame), Quinn Meinerz (Wisconsin-Whitewater), and Dillon Radunz (North Dakota State) were among the Senior Bowl standouts who happen to be a part of a loaded offensive line class. Save for using second-round picks on Cody Whitehair (2016) and James Daniels (2018), the Bears haven’t used premium picks to address the offensive line. It seems like 2021 is a good year to diverge from old habits.
• We already know Kendrick Green looks good in blue and orange (thread):
Illinois G Kendrick Green is explosive on pulls. He also consistently rolls his hips through on contact. Need to get more film on this guy. Solid player. pic.twitter.com/YoPBHap22Z
— Cover 1 (@Cover1) February 6, 2021
• The Bears have a variety of offseason needs to fill. Among them is depth for the running backs room. And while I could see Chicago adding a quality second back, they aren’t going to spend big on it:
#Packers running back Aaron Jones is expected to receive heavy interest from the #Dolphins, #49ers, #Steelers, and #Bears. Plenty of other teams will have interest, but those four are teams to keep a close eye on. Green Bay would still like to re-sign him as well.
— Evan Massey (@massey_evan) February 5, 2021
• Why, Kurt?
• I’m just saying that maybe Trevor Lawrence should slide down to 20. Just a thought…
Projected No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence will throw for NFL teams on Feb 12th instead of participating in Clemson’s pro day next month, per his reps at @mgcsports. After that, Lawrence will undergo left labrum shoulder repair. Doctors confident he will be recovered for camp.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 5, 2021
Trevor Lawrence best QB in the draft? Not according to @Theismann7. Why Joe Theismann would take Zach Wilson over Lawrence. @JC1053 @ryanwilsonCBS @dpbrugler #NFLDraft @CBSSportsHQ pic.twitter.com/SoDNR1RoXZ
— Amanda Guerra (@AmandaGuerraCBS) February 5, 2021
• Because I don’t want the Packers having nice things, I approve of this news crossing our wires this morning:
#Badgers DC Jim Leonhard on turning down #Packers’ job offer: “It was me choosing UW. I want to stay at UW. I want to be at this level right now. Extremely flattered. Awesome opportunity. But it was not the right time for me to go back to the NFL.”
— Tom Oates (@TomOatesWSJ) February 6, 2021
• Every bit helps:
• Thanks for indulging us as we promote big-game betting this weekend. And remember, wager responsibly:
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— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) February 6, 2021
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— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) February 6, 2021