I felt like I started to find myself a bit when I started taking lengthy walks around the neighborhood last year. But then I stopped, and for no good reason. A year later, I’ve found myself doing the neighborhood walk thing again. And, once again, I’m feeling good. So I’m going to try and commit to doing that (and other things) that make me feel good as I move forward in 2021.
• The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia has some strong words about where the Bears are heading in a piece highlighting head-scratching moves, solid decisions, and other happenings of this NFL offseason. Because when it comes to assessing Chicago’s offseason maneuvers, they are found alongside a sub-head titled: “They are a directionless franchise.” Gulp. Kapadia writes: “The Bears might be the NFL’s best example right now of an organization with no plan. Their moves reflect a GM and a coach who are simply trying to keep the team competitive to save their jobs.” Frankly, that sounds like a plan to me. A good one? Hardly. But GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy have been in self-preservation mode since the team’s season-ending press conference in January. Again … it’s not a good plan. Not from an organizational standpoint anyway.
• Then again, maybe it’s a good thing that a franchise with a GM in a lame-duck year and a head coach with just two seasons left on his contract isn’t responsible for the long-term vision of this franchise. It would be a shame if Pace left the Bears in worse shape than Phil Emery left him.
• OverTheCap.com’s Jason Fitzgerald has some of the harshest criticisms. Fitzgerald calls the Bears “a mess” in his discussion with Kapadia. Beyond not liking signing Dalton for $10 million, he says tagging Allen Robinson II makes no sense. On top of that, Fitzgerald doesn’t like the Cairo Santos extension because of the Bears’ cap situation. To be fair, there’s a lot not to like about the Bears’ offseason, but I’m not sure retaining your team’s two best scoring contributors would’ve made more sense as an alternative.
• Allowing Robinson to walk for nothing now would’ve been malpractice on Pace’s part. The best-case scenario if Robinson left this offseason would’ve been the Bears receiving a compensatory third-round pick in 2022. Seeing that Atlanta received a second-round pick from the Patriots when trading Mohamed Sanu in October 2019, I think the Bears could do better by trading Robinson in October than letting him go in March. But only if it comes to it. Otherwise, they can let things play out. Or they could find money in the banana stand for an extension. Isn’t there always money in the banana stand? I feel as if that’s something I’ve been told in the past.
• I understand why a capologist wouldn’t like signing a kicker to anything that isn’t a contract for the minimum. But I don’t imagine the alternative universe in which the Bears let Santos go and get the kicker carousel running again is a fun one to live in. I come to that conclusion because I lived through the revolving door of failure and disappointment that was kickers in the post-Robbie Gould era. My preference would be to not live through that again. And I imagine Chicago’s front office had similar feelings.
• Also … Santos’ 2021 cap charge is 0.83% of the cap, while his cash payout for this year is 1.94% of team spending. Moreover, OTC’s contract ranking has him 17th among 43 qualifying kickers. Santos’ money isn’t a problem, it’s the spending elsewhere that’s handcuffing this team. It’s quite possible that Santos outlasts this front office and coaching staff. And if last year’s efforts show he is returning to peak form, then the next regime will be thankful they aren’t looking to fill the kicker void.
• There’s no reason to spend too much time thinking about the Dalton deal. Not when all signs are pointing to him not being a long-term solution at the position. All things considered, we probably shouldn’t judge the Bears’ offseason one way or another until after the dust settles on Draft weekend.
• Speaking of the 2021 NFL Draft, Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks offer up some Day 2 prospects they like. And considering the positions they play, these players should be on the Bears’ radar:
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) April 7, 2021
• I’m always here to have a laugh at Aaron Rodgers’ expense. But who knew a troll job by a Jeopardy contestant had LAYERS:
“Who wanted to kick that field goal?”
I talked to Scott Shewfelt, the now-viral author who bet Packers moneyline in the NFC title game & insists he knew the Final Jeopardy answer but decided to troll Aaron Rodgers instead.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) April 7, 2021
• Oh gosh … this sounds so familiar:
I’ve seen this kind of analysis before about a different high-draft QB…. can’t remember his name… https://t.co/ycsen47NgB
— Robert Schmitz (@robertkschmitz) April 6, 2021
• I can’t unsee it:
Both Sam Darnold and Zach Wilson look like the bad guy in a 90s kids sports movie so at least the Jets have a type pic.twitter.com/j3NkVvqsdc
— Charlotte Wilder (@TheWilderThings) April 6, 2021
• For your listening pleasure:
Hoge's latest Bears mock draft, Fishbain's QB history of the Bears & did the Bears pass on Sam Darnold? https://t.co/VSOEjXg7ZK
— The Athletic Chicago (@TheAthleticCHI) April 6, 2021
• The Cubs ruined the all-Chicago parlay that was going on with the Bulls, Blackhawks, and White Sox in action. But at least tag-teaming Chicago’s winter tenants ended up producing a winning ticket:
These Guys are Starting to Look Comfortable: Bulls 113, Pacers 97 – April 6th, 2021https://t.co/WOjXug27R4
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) April 7, 2021
Enhanced Box Score: Blackhawks 4, Stars 2 – April 6th, 2021https://t.co/h8IhCxwvji
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) April 7, 2021