'Sup with Dalton? The Jameis Deal, A Smith Fit?, Remembering RRH, And Other Bears Bullets

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‘Sup with Dalton? The Jameis Deal, A Smith Fit?, Remembering RRH, And Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Yesterday was busy enough to keep me away from The Bachelor finale (thus sparing Michael from a deep dive into that realm as today’s Bullets topper). No spoilers in the comments, though. I’ve got everything DVR’d.

•   As Bears QB options fell off the board, I found myself intrigued by this tweet from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler:

•   Exhausting is a word I’m quite familiar with as I follow this process (but for different reasons). Nevertheless, it’s interesting because Winston could be the type of quarterback who finds a different gear in a new home and a clean slate. But perhaps that fresh start is in a place he was last year with a long-tenured QB fixer-upper in Jon Gruden. Better there than in a place where his one-year “prove it” deal came with everyone’s jobs on the line in Chicago. Even still … that the Bears considered Winston suggests how open they are to a number of possibilities.

•   Perhaps this contract structure could’ve worked:

•   When you see the Bears’ “interest” attached to a player who gets this type of contract, I think it tells us about what we can expect if Chicago signs a QB from this particular group of players who fall under the same umbrella.

•   Next quarterback to take center stage on our obsessive watch is Andy Dalton. But I don’t want to expel too much angst over this possibility. For starters, there is no certainty that Dalton will come to Chicago. NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo reports that while the Bears “are in on” Dalton, the 49ers are a “strong contender” in the race. The Niners have dabbled around the QB market, but seem willing to be committed to Jimmy Garoppolo. But not committed to the point where they won’t seek someone who can push him from behind. That’s where Dalton makes sense in San Francisco. In short, Dalton is a QB2 who could be someone’s QB1 if the top option falters along the way. And I imagine his next contract will reflect that assessment.

•   Ultimately, I find myself landing on the idea that signing Dalton would not and should not necessarily mean that’s the end of the QB process. Signing Dalton shouldn’t preclude the Bears from still taking a bigger swing in a trade thereafter — whether it’s on an established quarterback or up the draft boards for a prospect to be named later.

•   Also, because the Bears seem to care about compensatory draft picks now, I can’t help but wonder if Dalton is less of a fit. Remember, the Bears could’ve signed a handful of tight ends who fit the mold of the role Jimmy Graham played in 2020. But signing Graham didn’t mess with the compensatory draft pick formula. And in the end, that helped the Bears net *TWO* compensatory selections in the upcoming NFL Draft. Signing Dalton would count against the formula, which is something to keep in mind. You know whose signing could do the same as Dalton without counting against the comp pick formula? Alex Smith.

•   PFF”s LIVE free-agency deal-grader is a fun tool to keep an eye on as things roll out.

•   I’m bookmarking this for later reading, but sharing with you now: Dan Pompei (The Athletic) writes about the fall of Mike Richardson, a Super Bowl XX champion whose life struggles have taken a turn for the worse.

•   I’ll miss Roy Robertson-Harris, who is signing a fruitful contract with the Jaguars:

•   Following RRH’s career arc has been a treat. To go from UDFA OLB from UTEP, to rotational defender on a top-10 defense, to PAID IN THE SHADE is simply tremendous. Let me take it a step further: This is all a testament to his talent, skill, work ethic, and perseverance PLUS the scouting and coaching he received. A real team effort here. You love to see it.

•   And, sure, you hate to see those home-grown types go. But also, you love to see those types of developments. Well-run orgs have plenty of stories like this. Frankly, I wish the Bears had more.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.