One of the most underrated seasons when you live in Chicago is Fake Spring. It comes around after every February’s deep freeze. The temperatures hit 40 degrees and it feels a heckuva lot warmer after feeling single-digits. To celebrate, I’m planning on making steaks on the grill.
Are you planning on cooking out, too? Cool. Here’s an all-purpose marinade I like to you on pork, chicken, and beef:
• ICYMI: Russell Wilson would accept a trade to the Bears. He hasn’t necessarily asked for one yet. But if the Seahawks were to listen, he would happily green-light a trade to Chicago and three other teams. And with that, there was much rejoicing in Chicago.
• In addition to Wilson having an interest in joining the Bears (if a trade was a real possibility), it’s worth noting that Chicago has been “really persistent” in its efforts to acquire him. And why not? The Bears have a need at the position, a sense of desperation that other squads don’t possess, and have shown a previous willingness to throw caution (and future draft/monetary considerations) to the wind. That the Bears are interested shouldn’t be shocking. Neither should their persistence in this ordeal. Honestly, GM Ryan Pace should be wearing out the phones of Pete Carroll and John Schneider with a barrage of “u up?” texts until they agree to make a trade. Make an offer they can’t refuse, then top it for all I care.
• Even if the Bears traded the mother lode to get Wilson, part of the appeal of Chicago for him could be his ability recruit players to join him in his quest. Ripping a page out of Tom Brady’s playbook, then beating him in a playoff game would be gold.
• Wilson’s mere interest in Chicago has him among the best of the best, even if the only Bears uniform he’s been seen in to this point was a photo edit:
Greatest Bears QBs of all time:
1. Sid Luckman
2. Jay Cutler
3. Erik Kramer
4. Russell Wilson saying he'd play for the Bears
5. Jim McMahon
— Robert Mays (@robertmays) February 25, 2021
• Let’s not overlook Tarik Cohen in this horse race. Cohen owns a 127.8 passer rating, 66.7 TD% and 0.0 INT%. That passer rating is better than Aaron Rodgers (103.9), the TD% is better than Patrick Mahomes (6.8%), with an INT% lower than Tom Brady (1.8%). Talk about elite company! Should the Bears fall short of their Wilson pursuit, maybe see if Cohen has what it takes to lift his game to another level.
• Elsewhere on the QB market, Deshaun Watson reiterates his desire to be traded from the Texans. There’s not much wiggle room here. How long until Watson puts the Bears on his list of teams he would OK a trade to this offseason? Asking for a friend.
• A Bears transaction:
— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) February 25, 2021
• Ryan Nall, a running back by trade, found a niche as a special teams contributor last season. Only Barkevious Mingo, Joel Iyiegbuniwe, and DeAndre Houston-Carson saw more special teams action than Nall. Or to put it in a different light, only Iyiegbuniwe was featured on more special teams snaps among returning Bears players. Mingo and Houston-Carson are free agents whose futures could be elsewhere. So I suppose it’s a good sign the Bears are bringing back one key special teams contributor.
• Where Nall fits in the running back rotation is a bit hazy right now. At this point, he is clearly behind David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen. Nall could battle fellow Oregon State product Artavis Pierce in a camp competition. Or Chicago could choose to bring in another change of pace back to put between Cohen and Montgomery. In any case, history suggest Ryan Pace has no interest in handing out a mega-deal to a high-priced running back. Hence, my belief that the chatter surrounding the Bears and Packers free-agent-to-be Aaron Jones is nothing more than that.
• One Packers player I’d be far more interested in signing is center Corey Linsley:
#Packers C Corey Linsley to @SiriusXMNFL on free agency: “We’re not closing the door on anything. We'd never do that, especially to the Packers. It looks like all signs point towards snapping the ball somewhere else next year. … If it doesn't work out, I wish them the best.”
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) February 25, 2021
• Rookie offensive lineman Badara Traore and Clark Atlanta University Provost Dr. Dale Wesson talk Black History Month and the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities:
• As a music nerd, I’ve long been interested in HBCUs because of their bands. But beyond that, there’s plenty of football history that’s worth exploring. And Bears fans are no stranger to standout HBCU products. Walter Payton (Jackson State), Richard Dent (Tennessee State), Leslie Frazier (Alcorn State), and Tarik Cohen (North Carolina A&T) are among the notable Bears who attended HBCUs. I’m sure there are more who have had their impact on the franchise throughout the years. And in the end, I’m glad the Bears are offering up interviews like the one embedded above to provide insight, perspective, and an opportunity to learn something new.
• A world without the NFL on ESPN? Hmm…
NEW MEDIA COLUMN: How would ESPN look without Monday Night Football and unlimited NFL highlights? For starters, they could own all of college football. An examination.https://t.co/oflCQn8gSw pic.twitter.com/qxOH5kRDIN
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) February 26, 2021