Hope For Higgins, Dream Landing Spots For Rodgers, Roquan’s Pro Bowl Adventure, and Other Bears Bullets
It might feel like summer if I step outside and it is 40 degrees after it temperatures were negative-1 when I woke up yesterday. Maybe I should step out and enjoy it.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
- On the one hand, I’m not quite ready to obsess over potential Bears trade options. Cut me some slack, I’m only now getting re-geared for football and there is one big game left to play. But on the other hand, Tee Higgins makes me want to change my tune. And that we’re seeing pundits try to tweet this into existence gets my gears going:
- ICYMI: Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic surmises that the Cincinnati Bengals could trade Higgins if the two sides can’t agree on a potential extension. Sure, Dehner’s angle comes off as more speculative than hard reporting, but this tracks. Especially when we saw it happen last year with A.J. Brown being a third-year receiver on the cusp of landing a mega-extension with the Titans before being sent to an Eagles team that would ultimately hand him that mega-deal. Simply put, if that scenario plays out in Cincinnati, then the Bears better put in a phone call to the Bengals with swiftness. Full stop.
- Don’t get me wrong. I think Higgins has WR1 potential, but I don’t think he is there just yet. Again, this isn’t me saying he can’t get there — but that he isn’t there yet gives me some pause. The last thing the Bears should want to do is make a large investment (first by trade, then with a large extension) for a player who isn’t the fit they envision. We’re seeing some of that fallout with the Chase Claypool trade. And while I still think Claypool can be a good, productive player for these Bears, I also have a better understanding of why the Steelers didn’t hesitate to move on from him with that trade deadline deal. Finding ideal trade partners is a lot harder in real life than Madden and the online simulators make it out to be.
- Maybe the Claypool trade will serve as a reminder to be wary of certain trade partners. To be clear, none of this should dissuade the Bears from making a trade. Every move is different. Past results don’t guarantee future failure. But I can understand why there wouldn’t be 100% support for going all-in on a Higgins deal. Nevertheless, I’m still pretty in on it (if it becomes an option).
- Do I want the Bears to land a splashy, high-profile receiver? Yes. But I also want them to build a strong receivers room. One with a high floor. Because just in case they can’t land the big fish, the WRs room shouldn’t be like the barren wasteland it was last year. With that in mind, I’m really into Jakobi Meyers as a free-agent option. This video came through as a promoted tweet into my timeline this morning, which reminded me of a reason I was into Jakobi in the first place. This is an impressive catch:
- Some fun factoids about Meyers follow this sentence. Firstly, he was Pro Football Focus’ 27th-highest-graded receiver. Or, to put it differently, he would’ve been the Bears’ highest-graded receiver last year. The receiving and run-blocking grades PFF spits out for Meyers are quality, too. We’ll likely be doing a deeper dive into Meyers ahead of free agency. But raising the floor of Chicago’s WRs room should be high on GM Ryan Poles’ to-do list. I can see Meyers being the Zay Jones of this free agency class. And by that I mean a receiver whose signing might be ridiculed, but turns into a productive addition.
- It was wild seeing Jones get a three-year deal worth $24 million that included $14 million at signing. But Jones out-performed expectations by setting career highs in catches (82) and receiving yards (823), while also snagging five touchdowns. Something something past isn’t a predictor of the future something something.
- The answers in the replies and quote tweets to this are GOOD:
- Power ranking my favorite Aaron Rodgers landing spots: The sun, Mustafar, the dark side of the Moon, Mars, outer space, his couch, and Green Bay. Yeah, I said it. Look … if Rodgers is truly entering his decline era, it wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen if he dragged the entire Packers organization down with him.
- Old friend Sean Desai said “thanks, but no thanks” to the Vikings:
- Whew. I did not want to root against Desai, who I still think has a bright coaching future. Thankfully, he isn’t in the plans of any teams in the NFC North. That is refreshing, to be sure.
- Former Bears Scouting Director Greg Gabriel has some stuff to get off his chest in the wake of a wave of rumors crashing down recently. And this particular anecdote strikes home:
If these people looked at the Bears’ situation closely, they would have seen that Bears GM Ryan Poles purposely took a step back in the 2022 season in order to take two steps forward in 2023.
Poles moved players he did not see as having a future with the club. Some of these players were very good and brought handsome returns to the Bears regarding draft picks. It also rid the Bears of much cap space that will enable them to build the team as they see fit. So basically, 2022 was nothing more than laying the foundation for the future. Many of these people don’t understand that Justin Fields is a huge part of that foundation.
- I love conflicting reports, if only because it’s fun when two bigwigs stick to their guns in their reporting:
- Patrick is running into some familiar faces at the Pro Bowl Games in Vegas:
- Staley’s got moves. Who knew?
- Also: I’m happy that Roquan is getting his shine. He should’ve been a Pro Bowl linebacker in previous years with the Bears. But better late than never … right?
- That’s … good news:
- Here we go again:
- A Blackhawks legend celebrates a birthday today: