Today is the five year anniversary of the Quintana-Cease-Eloy trade that baseball fans in Chicago either revere or revile depending on where you fall down the aisle. If anyone needs me, I’ll be replaying that scene in Return of the Jedi (***SPOILERS COMING***) where Darth Vader tells his son Luke Skywalker “You were right, Luke. Tell your sister … you were right.”
- Brian Urlacher had a heckuva playing career with the Bears. It was a Hall of Fame career worthy of first-ballot status. But these comments from him that come off like he is suggesting some players are falsely claiming to have CTE is problematic. Via the NY Post’s Jenna Lemoncelli:
“Here’s the problem now with all the guys with the CTE, if they do have it, I feel for them, but there’s guys who say they have it just so they an be in the (expletive) lawsuit. … There are some guys I played with who claimed … I don’t know. They want that money from the NFL and I get it, man. You know, everyone wants to get their due, but there’s really guys that have it, that deserve to be taken care of. And there’s the guys that don’t have it who want to be — who want to have it just so they can get part of that lawsuit.”
- This feels like a slippery slope to make these allegations. And for what it’s worth, PFT’s Mike Florio points out there is no active lawsuit against the league right now. Moreover, there isn’t a way to prove active or living players have CTE. So, Urlacher’s comments are even more out of bounds given that context. Again … Urlacher is a Bears legend on the playing surface. I just wish he’d come off as calculated with his post-career comments as he was when sizing up a ball-carrier in the open field.
- ICYMI: Chicago’s football team swung a trade for a receiver who was chosen in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. No, it’s not *THAT* guy. But N’Keal Harry is someone whose acquisition is an attention grabber. We ran through a useful Twitter thread here after the news broke:
- The Irish Bears Show’s Twitter account brought up an interesting nugget about Harry and his run-blocking proficiency. I went browsing through PFF’s full-season player grades from 2021 and saw that Harry’s 84.7 run-blocking grade was the second best among qualifiers. The top-15 has some notable top-flight receivers such as Cooper Kupp, Adam Thielen, and Tee Higgins. But it also features a pair of pass-catchers who were on the Bears’ radar this offseason (Robert Woods, Marquez Valdes-Scantling), someone who might’ve been on their radar had he not been quickly tagged (Chris Godwin), someone who should’ve been on their radar (Laviska Shenault Jr.), and a receiver they actually signed (Byron Pringle).
- On the one hand, I’d love for the Bears to modernize their offense and chuck it down the field a bunch. But on the other hand, I wouldn’t mind seeing this team take some of the pressure off Fields by deploying a ground game that chews up clock, keeps the defense off the field, and provides a foundation for a strong play-action aerial attack.
- Let’s give this trade some additional perspective: What it took to get Harry (a 2024 seventh-round pick) was kin to what the team dealt to the Raiders in 2019 to get Eddy Piñeiro. But instead of getting a kicker, the Bears are rolling the dice on a post-hype sleeper whose body type (6-4, 225 pounds) would make him a traditional “X” receiver. Things didn’t work out in New England. But it doesn’t mean they can’t work out in Chicago.
- For even more additional perspective, the folks at NBC Sports Chicago and 670 The Score share thoughts. Meanwhile, here’s what it sounds like from the Pats point of view:
- Spekaing of clean slates, Baker Mayfield is “excited” about getting a fresh start in Carolina. However, Panthers GM Scott Fitterer claims this will be an open competition between Mayfield and Sam Darnold. In other words, we’re going to see the first two quarterbacks taken in the 2018 NFL Draft duking it out to start. And neither is on the team that originally chose him. Only in the NFL!
- Someone isn’t all that impressed with the NFC North as the Bears, Packers, Lions, and Vikings head to camp:
- And here I am thinking Mike Tanier was harsh on the Bears. This snippet on the Packers is COLD as ice:
Aaron Rodgers lacks the patience/social skills/human decency to mumble polite platitudes about his new receiving corps. So unless someone emerges immediately as the next Davante Adams, Packers fans can look forward to a long summer of vacant stares and passive-aggressive negging. Business as usual, in other words, except that Rodgers will be disgruntled at his young teammates
instead ofin addition to the organization.
- Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder will meet with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on July 28. But his offer to testify comes under the condition of doing it via video conference. What an odd stipulation, but I shouldn’t have been expecting anything different from that guy. (ESPN)
- Hey, it’s Prime Day part two at Amazon today. So if you’re looking for pretty much anything, you might as well peruse and make sure it isn’t on a huge discount today. #ad
- I’m glad Patrick Williams’ teammates have high hopes for the 20-year-old forward, because the pressure isn’t slowing up from here:
- While NHL free agency begins TODAY, I have a feeling we’ll be better off focusing on some prospects. With that in mind, I think it is worth sharing (via BN Blackhawks) that five Hawks prospects got the invite to Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team summer development camp.
- I’m looking forward to seeing how this first-round pick develops: