One of my favorite desserts is a three-layered brownie. Chocolate chip cookie dough serves as the base, Oreo cookies are then placed on top of the cookie dough, and brownie batter is spread on top of it all. I didn’t think there was a way to step it up until I saw a TikTok that suggested putting crushed Oreos ON TOP! Guess I’ll have to put that on my baking to-do list. (Michael: I love #LuRecipeFriday)
• I’ll take all the news that comes with even the slightest hint of good vibes these days. So don’t mind me if I’m tickled that the NFL’s salary cap floor will be $5 million more than original projections. And to think, it could still grow from there:
Have now heard from a few different folks the 2021 NFL salary cap should ultimately end up in the $185-$188M range
TV deals probably still have to be finalized, but growing optimism it may only drop about ~$10M from 2020’s $198.2M number, not close to $20M as previously expected
— Brad Spielberger (@PFF_Brad) February 18, 2021
A look at the salary cap carryover for 2021: pic.twitter.com/Q5JELBem2u
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) February 19, 2021
• Every little bit helps, especially when you’re a Bears team that needs to clear space and use any cap savings to re-tool a roster in a must-win year. So let’s not overlook that $7 million in rollover cap space the Bears are carrying into 2021.
• It sure seems like Kealia Ohai Watt wouldn’t mind if her husband signed with the Bears this offseason:
JJ Watt’s wife seems like she would be a fan of him signing with Chicago.@JJWatt listen to your wife bro. Sign a minimum contract with us, recruit Watson, and win a free Super Bowl 👍 pic.twitter.com/GlRbQnYQPV
— DaWindyCity Productions (@DawindycityP) February 18, 2021
• On the one hand, the Bears have more glaring holes to fill on offense (and elsewhere on the defense), which makes it tough to envision a full-on pursuit of JJ Watt. But stranger things have happened. I refuse to rule out any possibility, especially ones that could result in a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year joining forces with Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Jackson, Kyle Fuller, and friends. If all else fails, using Lou Malnati’s pizza and Portillo’s Italian beef as a recruiting tool could prove to be useful. You never know unless you try!
• Based on these poll results, I’d venture to say there’s a good number of you who are relieved that Carson Wentz won’t be the Bears’ quarterback in 2021:
Carson Wentz won't be a Bear in 2021.
How does that make you feel?
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) February 18, 2021
• For the record: Wentz to the Bears would’ve been fine. It wouldn’t have been the best-case scenario. But it wouldn’t have been the worst either. In fact, a Wentz-to-Chicago could have presented a scenario where (1) if he’s good, then the Bears are good and closer to being on the right track than they were before OR (2) he isn’t good, and the only thing left to do is clean house. There isn’t much middle ground to be had if Chicago would’ve landed Wentz. So, at minimum, we would have been given a better sense of the Bears’ direction moving forward. Nevertheless, the search continues.
• Adam Hoge (NBC Sports Chicago) writes why the Bears were smart to wait out the Wentz saga, and ultimately, bow out when they did. Gotta give credit where it’s due: GM Ryan Pace deserves a tip of the cap for not risking it all for a broken quarterback. One who has tremendous upside, to be sure. But also, one whose floor could bottom out and get everyone fired in the process. Trading for Wentz would’ve been a tough sell in some corners. But more important than that, I think it would’ve been a tough sell to upper management.
• Thanks (?) Colts:
Carson Wentz has been traded to … not the #Bears.
Which made @leilarahimi happy and raised the question, did the Colts save the Bears from themselves?
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) February 18, 2021
• I encourage outside-of-the-box thinking, which is why I’m intrigued by Chris Emma’s idea of the Bears trading for Teddy Bridgewater. Acquiring Bridgewater would be a low-cost deal, one that could come with minimal risk, and still position the Bears to take a swing in the upcoming NFL Draft. If the 2021 NFL season is all about self-preservation for GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy, bringing on a bridge QB and a potential long-term solution would be the play to call in this situation.
• Remember: Matt Nagy confirmed the Bears’ interest in Bridgewater from last offseason. And for what it’s worth, we laid out some arguments to pursue Bridgewater when the team needed to solve its QB issues a year ago at this time.
• The extended conversation with JJ Stankevitz here was an absolute treat:
— Greg Braggs Jr. (@GBraggsJr23) February 18, 2021
• As an unabashed fan of JJ’s work, I also found his recent appearances on Laurence Holmes’ “House of L” podcast to be a good listen:
— Laurence Holmes (@LaurenceWHolmes) February 17, 2021
Part Two of our fixing the Bears conversation with @JJStankevitz and @KingsleyEllis is all about Allen Robinson. I'm not convinced that relationship can be fixed. We discuss what happens if it isn't. Check it out: https://t.co/cq5LlvrHxg
— Laurence Holmes (@LaurenceWHolmes) February 19, 2021
• Cordarrelle Patterson continues to put in that work:
You can’t recruit someone who doesn’t wanna be recruited!!! #GMPROBLEMS
— cordarrelle patterson (@ceeflashpee84) February 19, 2021
• Linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe’s video conversation with Air Force veteran Ted Manuel, who opens up about his experience with segregation and prejudice while in the military, is eye-opening:
• Whenever I see the name Aaron Kromer, I think about the time Jay Cutler made him cry:
— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) February 19, 2021