Seeing Katie, my favorite contestant on this season of The Bachelor, return for the women tell-all special brought a smile to my face. I didn’t love how the women ganged up on her again, but I think there’s an important lesson to be learned about how to handle conflict. Just saying…
• Do the Bears already have a monster offer on the table for Deshaun Watson? Because that’s the insinuation that came down yesterday after watching and listening to Jeff Darlington on ESPN’s NFL Live. Darlington was bold, but clever with his words, in describing the situation. But to me, it came across clear that he wanted to (not-so-subtly) make a point. Message received, sir.
• Apparently, I need to see the movie Rounders to understand this:
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) March 1, 2021
• Wouldn’t it be something if GM Ryan Pace successfully leveraged these situations into a star quarterback coming to Chicago? He’d certainly take a step toward made-man status if he landed Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson. And if he were to do it in this way, in which he leverages these specific unexpected situations? Hoo boy. That’s some 3-D chess and checkers action that I’m unsure my brain can fully comprehend at this time. So here’s to seeing it play out.
• Still unsure as to why the Bears intrigue Russell Wilson, check this out:
• Elsewhere on the quarterback front, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport once again ties free-agent-to-be Alex Smith to the Bears:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 2, 2021
• The Matt Nagy connection is real. And we can’t ignore the mutual admiration the two have for each other. But the Bears can’t be in the Smith market until their top options — such as Watson and Wilson — are off the board. Even if it shook out and Smith became a realistic target, he isn’t the type of player (at this stage of his career) who positions Nagy and/or GM Ryan Pace to have the type of job security each are seeking to nail down by landing the right QB this offseason. Maybe there is a fit with Smith as a bridge to a QB prospect such as Trey Lance, Justin Fields, or Zach Wilson. But the things that need to happen for that scenario to play out are plenty. So there’s no need to cross that bridge until we get there.
• Extreme Count Dooku voice: “I’ve been looking forward to this”
Reminder. Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy will meet the media later this afternoon. Pace scheduled at 3 and Nagy at 4. #Bears
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) March 2, 2021
• Press availability for GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy takes the place of the annual press conferences during the NFL Scouting Combine. I don’t expect earth-shattering announcements, but I like surprises. So while I wouldn’t think they would announce some big quarterback splash this afternoon, I think they’ll hint at what they’re looking for and perhaps offer up some insight on their path.
• One thing I’d like to hear about is a confirmation on picking up Roquan Smith’s fifth-year option. Smith is coming off a second-team All-Pro season and is positioning himself for a nice pay day in terms of an extension. But because the Bears have their priorities elsewhere (Wilson? Watson? A-Rob?), it’s on the back-burner for now. However, it’s something to keep in mind
• Things that are on the back-burner, but shouldn’t be: What’s the deal with the NFL’s TV agreement? John Ourand (Sports Business Journal) reported late last week that Disney and the NFL came to an agreement on a pact that keeps Monday Night Football on ESPN and puts ABC back into the Super Bowl rotation. And while Ourand hedged, noting that the deal wasn’t official and that contracts weren’t signed, it felt like one of those “done deals” that just needed formality.
• That we have no officially official deal isn’t inconsequential. Because the rumored deal was supposed to have Disney paying 30 percent more than its previous pact, which would come to about $2.6 billion annually. And until the NFL irons out its future media deals, it can’t square up a salary cap number. Hence, we have only seen estimations and projections for what the 2021 cap will be and nothing more firm. Sigh. The waiting is the hardest part.
• I understand the perspective of someone who doesn’t want a shiny new stadium to replace Soldier Field, as is laid out in this post over at Da Bears Blog. But so often, the conversation around a new Chicago football stadium gets bogged down in short-sighted positions that don’t consider a larger point of view. Would I like a new home for the Bears? Sure. I like new things, believe Soldier Field is out-dated, and believe Chicago deserves state-of-the-art facilities for passionate fans. But I like that Soldier Field is at the lakefront, even if it’s a pain-in-the-butt to get to on a given day. And I understand if people have real attachment to an old stadium. However, I can’t not look at the Bears’ situation, look around the league, and not think about how behind the times they are with where they play their home games.
• Good stuff, Bears:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 1, 2021
• Guess the Lions are true alphas because they’ve been conceding for the better part of the last two decades:
#Lions new HC Dan Campbell when asked about final roster decisions between he and GM Brad Holmes: “A true alpha knows when it’s time to concede.”
— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) March 2, 2021
• I’m teetering between “so humans can do this, huh?” and “Myles Garrett isn’t of this planet” …