Celebrating Sweetness, Moving On From Miller, Brady Ready to Roll, and Other Bears Bullets

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Celebrating Sweetness, Moving On From Miller, Brady Ready to Roll, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears training camp opens TOMORROW TUESDAY. (See what happens when I get ahead of myself?) It feels a bit like Christmas Eve in these parts. Except that I turn into a ball of sweat if I spend enough time outside because of the humidity. Nevertheless, football season is so close that we can taste it.

•   ICYMI: The Bears (finally) traded wide receiver Anthony Miller. It’s not officially official just yet. Miller needs to pass a physical and compensation needs to cross the wires, but we’re essentially at the finish line here. And while it’s taken a while to get here, as a Miller trade has felt imminent for some time, a full execution of the deal is around the corner.

•   For Miller, it’s a fresh start for a player who was a second-round pick after being an All-American as a senior at Memphis. On the other side of the coin, this serves is a sign of confidence in what Chicago has in the rest of the receivers room. Free agent additions Damiere Byrd and Marquise Goodwin bump up a notch on the depth chart. Meanwhile, Riley Ridley and Javon Wims should be on high alert after watching the Bears ship out one of their own draft picks. A more recent draft pick, Dazz Newsome, also gets a clearer route to playing time.

•   Trading Miller cuts two ways for me. On the one hand, Miller is an ideal change-of-scenery candidate. Meaning, that while things didn’t work out in Chicago, there is enough talent, a prospect pedigree, and ample motivation to get right elsewhere. And Miller sure sounds motivated to get his football career back on the right track. But on the other hand, it stinks that Miller was never able to completely put it together in Chicago. There were flashes here and there, but it was never steady. It’s easy to remember the splash plays, like this amazing catch against the Vikings:

•   Or the time(s) he roughed up Detroit:

•   And we’ll always have the “Run to the L” Game:

•   But I can’t help but think the Bears reached their wits end with Miller when he slugged Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in a playoff game after being warned not to do so. Not only was that not the right thing to do, it also caused the Bears’ receiving corps to play short-handed because Darnell Mooney was already out with an injury. In the end, being warned about Gardner-Johnson’s tomfoolery and still taking the bait was the last straw. And, ultimately, sometimes breakups can be good for both parties.

•   As an added bonus, moving Miller off the roster clears $1,210,050 in cap space. Using OverTheCap.com’s data as our guide, this gives the Bears $7,193,576 in available space under the cap. Chicago could use some of it now to supplement the roster on the edges. Or perhaps a more prudent usage of this newfound cap space would be to roll it over to next year, when the cap figures to make a significant leap.

•   Let’s enjoy some Walter Payton highlights on what would’ve been his 67th birthday:

•   A touching message from Jarrett Payton:

•   This is art:

(Photo by Bruce Dierdorff/Getty Images)

•   Tom Brady looks ready to roll:

•   That’s encouraging news:

•   Some worthwhile league nuggets:

 

•   I appreciate the NFL’s execution of the game plan of not screwing up where other leagues were goofing up, but there’s more to it than that when it comes to the league’s venture through the last year (and then some):

•   Remarkable work from Mario covering the Blackhawks and the rest of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft:

•   I’ve got a bad feeling about this U.S. Olympic Basketball team:



Author: Luis Medina

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