John Mayer is a talented performer with a DEEP catalogue. He nails it when he says: How cool is it that I have enough songs that I can play cool ones and leave others on the table?
This one comes to mind today: Moving on and getting over.
• Happy Wednesday! At least, I think it’s Wednesday? I can’t tell any more. Time is a flat circle when you’re a Bears fan following the same mediocrity at quarterbacks one decade after another. New names, numbers, and faces, same old quarterbacking problem. And then when there’s a chance to significantly upgrade the position, falling short comes with a resounding thud that’s louder than any field goal doink you could ever imagine. There will be some circles who are fine with the Bears’ failure to land Russell Wilson, despite an offer of three first-round picks and two starters that would be awfully tempting in most situations. But come September and the Bears fall to Aaron Rodgers because they didn’t have a QB who could go score-for-score with that guy, they’ll wring their hands over Chicago not being equipped at the position. The names change, but the saga continues.
• So … where does this leave us? Well, for starters, the Bears have some work to do in order to get under the 2021 salary cap number:
As of this morning, NFL management council records showed just three teams left over the salary cap.
1) Saints, $12.72 million over.
2) Chiefs, $5.41 million over.
3) Bears, $2.42 million over.
Which is a matter of a few moves being processed. All have to be under by 4 p.m. ET.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 17, 2021
• It seems like it was just yesterday that the Saints were more than $69.5 million over the cap. So to get to this juncture is simply commendable. Assuming they get under the cap, someone should throw a party for Mickey Loomis and his staff on Bourbon Street for their efforts. This will have been no small task.
• As for the Bears, they’ve still got work to do. But it’s not a terrible mountain to climb. It’s just that I can’t help but ask what’s the end game here? Clearing cap space to reel in Russell Wilson and/or Trent Williams to build from there is an easy sell. But borrowing money from the future to augment a situation around Andy Dalton isn’t. When George McCaskey OK’d GM Ryan Pace’s return, I resigned myself to the fate that GM Ryan Pace would be in job preservation mode. But hitching that wagon to Dalton on a one-year deal is an awful risk that could throw the organizational health out of whack if worst-case scenarios play out with how money and draft capital is spent this offseason.
• Speaking of Trent Williams, that dream is over:
The San Francisco 49ers locked up their biggest potential free agent for the long term by agreeing to give star left tackle Trent Williams the richest contract ever for an offensive lineman: $138.1 million over the next six years.
— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) March 17, 2021
• More post-Dalton fallout:
— The Draft Network (@TheDraftNetwork) March 16, 2021
“If there’s one thing [Bears fans] know, it’s when a quarterback is going to disappoint them.”
— The Athletic NFL (@TheAthleticNFL) March 17, 2021
— GMFB (@gmfb) March 17, 2021
The problem isn't Andy Dalton. The problem is knowing since roughly October that you needed a solution at quarterback for an otherwise playoff-caliber team, with your reputation and job on the line, and ending up with Andy Dalton.
— Mike Tanier (@MikeTanier) March 17, 2021
• I can’t get over how much this process STINKS. Sure, I understand the need to have someone you can say is your quarterback for the time being. But Nick Foles was supposed to be that guy. If Foles was supposed to be that guy, and you traded real draft capital to make him that guy – only to find out he isn’t that guy, then why is the person responsible for making that trade still in charge of finding his replacement? Good process often leads to desired results. Not always, but often enough to know it to be true. Bad process results in *gestures at the projected 2021 Chicago Bears*…
• Pace will try to pitch Dalton as The Guy. Or maybe even as The Guy who is the bridge to The Next Guy. But after trying to sell Mike Glennon, Mitchell Trubisky, and Nick Foles, only for them to disappoint and fail the franchise when called upon suggests to me that Pace isn’t in a place where he should be identifying QB talent.
• If you could see the look on my face when I saw this tweet:
For my Chicago friends and Bears fans: The best thing I can say about Andy Dalton is he's not bad.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) March 16, 2021
• Something to keep in mind if Dalton turns out to ultimately be a Nick Foles replacement plan:
What’s next for Nick Foles? For what it’s worth, he has a $4M roster bonus due this weekend. If the Bears want to move him, my understanding is they could save that cash (it’s guaranteed, so a new team would inherit it) and it’d save $2.666M on the cap.
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) March 17, 2021
Confirmed this several times with a league source
Roster bonuses that are fully guaranteed at signing get prorated for cap purposes, so the $4M was split into three $1.33M cap hits
But if traded before that cash is paid, cap can be recouped
— Brad Spielberger (@PFF_Brad) March 16, 2021
• For your listening pleasure (?):
— Bears Talk (@NBCSBears) March 17, 2021
Hoge & Jahns
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) March 16, 2021
• I’m vacillating between “don’t give me hope” and “rebellions are built on hope”:
After turning down the Bears "aggressive pursuit" of Russell Wilson, have the Seahawks decided against trading the QB at all?@AdamSchefter: "I don't think it's done, no. I don't think I'm ready to say Russell Wilson is a Seahawk, will be a Seahawk." pic.twitter.com/8tO613zqq3
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) March 17, 2021
Just a reminder: It's March 17.
We're 6 months away from Week 1. A lot can happen.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) March 17, 2021
• Gil Brandt … welcome to the resistance:
Andy Dalton is a huge upgrade from what the Bears were working with last year. I'm not sure what all the ruckus is all about.
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) March 17, 2021
• Some love for the other Bears the move made on Tuesday:
It's not the move everyone is talking about today, but re-signing Germain Ifedi made sense. Only allowed 1 sack after moving back to RT (albeit a big one vs Lions) and was virtually perfect in pass protection the final 4 games. He's likely the #Bears' starting right tackle.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) March 17, 2021
• Eddy Piñeiro’s time with the Bears is done. Patrick Finley (Sun-Times) tweets the Bears aren’t tendering the restricted free agent a contract. That was fait accompli after Cairo Santos signed his deal, but now we know it’s happening.
• Looking forward to giving this a listen when my schedule clears:
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) March 17, 2021
• Good stuff, Roquan:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 17, 2021