I love seeing my friends getting into new projects. And admittedly, part of me is envious when I see someone put together a fun podcast. Because, while there’s a feeling that everyone is doing the podcast thing, not everyone can do it in a unique way.
My friends Logan and Craig talk buckets here, and it just might tickle the fancy of those of you who cross over into Illini fandom:
We’re obviously going to be football intensive around these parts. But it might be nice to clear the brain with some non-football. So check them out!
• The NFL’s “legal tampering” period of free agency begins TODAY. And by that, I mean things will get poppin’ in the matter of hours. Starting at 11 a.m. CT (which is right when this post was published), teams can talk with player agents, exchange offers, and come to a deal without signing. Essentially, we’ll start seeing carefully crafted tweets from the likes of Schefter, Rapoport, Pelissero, Glazer, and others confirming tentative deals that can’t officially be announced until after 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
• It’s important to keep in mind the time element in all this because it all moves so quickly. Teams slow-playing interest can be left behind in an instant. And when it comes to the Bears, that’s why they need some clarity on the Russell Wilson situation. As Brett pointed out earlier, Chicago (and even Seattle) kinda need to know what’s up ASAP. Neither the Bears nor Seahawks can afford to wait around to let alternative options slide elsewhere. Both teams need to figure out how to properly dish out their discretionary cap funds in order to best suit whichever quarterback they’re rolling with next year happens to be.
• Different quarterbacks will attract different types of free agents. And different types off free agents tend to be willing to sign different types of deals to play for different quarterbacks. In other words, imagine being a free agent getting $1 million offers from two teams. One team is quarterbacked by Tom Brady, while the other is led by Nick Foles. The money is equal on both sides, but there’s something more alluring about working with the better quarterback. Although, I suppose Foles can boast his recent record against Brady. Let’s never lose sight of that.
• And it’s not just the quarterback market that is being impacted here. What the Bears do at that position could ultimately play a role in what happens with Allen Robinson. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler was on Sunday morning’s SportsCenter reporting that Robinson had no plans to sign the Franchise Tag tender in the immediate future. And why would he? Signing the tag now puts him on the hook to have to participate in mandatory offseason activities. Not signing the tag gives him the right to opt out of those things. Additionally, Robinson probably wants a better feel for the sense of direction at quarterback. The guy has caught passes from Blake Bortles, Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniel, and Nick Foles. So, you can’t blame the guy when he gets to a point where he wants to know what he’s working with before making a commitment.
• But also … Ryan Pace needs to be patient throughout all this. If a deal with Wilson or Deshaun Watson doesn’t come, there’s no good reason to rush to overpay a lesser option. Waiting it out until Draft weekend could be the most prudent move. After all, it’s the only time a team can mortgage four years worth of first-round picks. And last I checked 4 > 3. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to a place-holder such as Ryan Fitzpatrick signing at a later date. It’s just that there’s no reason to act irrationally when the Seahawks or Texans can circle back at draft time and say something like: Remember when you offered three first round picks? Make it four and we’ll have a deal. Would Pace turn that down? Probably not. Unless he went out and did something irrational earlier in the offseason.
• Here’s where I am as a Bears fan: This is a no-lose situation. If Pace makes a splash trade, we’ll dream the biggest dreams. And I’ll encourage you to do the same. But if they don’t? Then we can start mapping out some bigger-picture stuff. As for me, specifically, I’ll start mapping out future GM choices. Because missing in free agency, NFL Draft, and trade markets would be a three-strikes rule. And if you’re Pace, and you’re brought back on the premise of fixing the quarterback, but can’t, then that feels like it should be the beginning of the end.
• OK, friends. If you’ve been here long enough, you’d know that this was tweeted with tongue firmly planted in cheek:
OK, I’ll bite. What’s a fullback? https://t.co/iwgkZLvZgK
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) March 15, 2021
• You get it? Because Matt Nagy doesn’t employ a fullback in his offense? Even when there were times he used J.P. Holtz as one to help spring the rushing attack? OK, everybody laugh now.
• A bold prediction: None of these three quarterbacks will be back with the team they started with last year:
Most turnover worthy plays when kept clean this season:
Mitch Trubisky – 14
Philip Rivers – 14
Carson Wentz – 13 pic.twitter.com/uCox0Dsjca
— PFF (@PFF) March 14, 2021