I’ve been a slow starter the last few days, but don’t know why. Think I’ll do something different to shake up my routine today.
• The Kyler Murray is a sidebar saga worth keeping an eye on as this offseason chugs along. NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero shares that the Cardinals haven’t made an extension offer to Murray, and that other teams are monitoring that situation. Because if there is one thing NFL teams love, it’s hawking over quarterbacks who could be on the move — even if their teams insist on not dealing them.
• Given this framing, the Murray situation reminds me of some of MLB’s issues:
Kyler Murray situation is as much about the CBA as about @AZCardinals. Rookie contracts give teams incredible value, esp. for starting QBs making $4-5M/year while similar veteran QBs are making $30-$40M/year.
CBA rookie pay system is the gift to NFL teams that keeps on giving.
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) April 15, 2022
• I don’t think going back to the old system will fly for veterans, who were losing out on second contracts because teams were swallowing hard on big rookie contracts that weren’t panning out. But maybe the next CBA features a middle ground where high-performing rookies can get theirs. Perhaps something like how the NBA has the Derrick Rose Rule.
• Also … I don’t imagine the Bears are among the teams with eyes on the situation, but maybe they should be. Not so much as a possible trade option, but to see how Arizona handles the situation. To this point, I can’t say the Cards have been handling it well. There’s been drama lingering since February and that much hasn’t been done to quell it isn’t a great look. In other words, this could serve as a reminder that smart teams handle quarterbacks with care.
• For whatever it’s worth, there is a case to be made that the Bears haven’t done enough to support Justin Fields this offseason. And if that trend continues, the Bears could be in a situation with Fields similar to the one the Cardinals are in with Murray. There are a bunch of bridges that we need to get to (and then cross) before we get to that point. Remember, Murray is a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback who is fresh off leading his team to the postseason. So we’re not really discussing an apples-to-apples situation to this point. But I’d like to avoid the drama altogether. Bolstering the offensive line and adding some weaponry for Fields to throw to would do wonders for this offseason’s narrative.
• And, to be clear, it’s not as if the Bears have done nothing to help Fields. Firing Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy should help matters on several fronts. Bringing in a new GM who will do things differently (for the better) when it comes to building a team is an important first step. Hiring a head coach who has a different perspective coming from the defensive side of the ball could be helpful, too. Installing an offense that plays to Fields’ strengths as opposed to whatever Matt Nagy was doing last year is refreshing. Throw in some offensive line help and some pass catchers into the mix and everyone will be discussing this offseason differently.
• Ryan Day and Justin Fields sharing a football moment in April, just as we all predicted back when there was buzz about Day possibly making the leap to the NFL:
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) April 16, 2022
• It’s always nice to visit the alma mater. I should probably get on that soon.
• Worth noting: Ohio State Jaxson Smith-Njigba is one of the top 2023 draft-eligible prospects. And a WalterFootball.com way-too-early 2023 mock draft has Smith-Njigba going sixth overall. That is notable in its own right, but more eye-popping to me is that WF has the Bears projected to own the third pick. With the selection, the mock has the Bears taking Alabama pass-rusher Will Anderson. It is way too early to be thinking about 2023 NFL Draft things when we’re not even at this year’s draft just yet. But I suppose it’s never too early to take a peek at what the future holds.
• Clearly, folks are leaving the NFC because they fear the Ryan Poles-Matt Eberflus tandem:
The NFC-to-AFC pipeline this offseason now includes: Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Davante Adams, Chandler Jones, Khalil Mack, Von Miller, Stephon Gilmore, Terron Armstead, Amari Cooper, Robert Woods, Marcus Williams, Brandon Scherff, La'el Collins, Randy Gregory… and more.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 15, 2022
• Perrion Winfrey, who was sent to the Bears in a mock draft that has a little something for everyone, is a unique character:
Perrion Winfrey definitely knows how to scare opposing offenses.
He also showed us he knows a thing or two about other scary things.
Watch him draft his top horror movie villains.@OU_Football @pdontplay pic.twitter.com/EkxzNxzmwT
— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) April 15, 2022
• This is a nice gesture:
Ohio State has painted late quarterback Dwayne Haskins' initials onto the turf at Ohio Stadium: https://t.co/7YOa3IBJfU
— Andrew Lind (@AndrewMLind) April 16, 2022
• Pro game? College? Any way you slice it, folks love football:
Share of U.S. adults who identify as fans of the following sports or leagues:
1️⃣ NFL: 67%
2️⃣ MLB: 55%
3️⃣ College Football: 52%
4️⃣ NBA: 46%
5️⃣ College Basketball: 43%
6️⃣ NHL: 38%
7️⃣ Soccer: 32%https://t.co/P5IsqvlP7R
— Mark J. Burns (@markjburns88) April 16, 2022
• I’m not sure what the football equivalent of this is, but I bet it’s wild:
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) April 16, 2022
• We sure are gonna miss Pat Foley:
— Patrick K. Flowers (@PatrickKFlowers) April 15, 2022