Re-thinking Fits, More Muhammad Fallout, Washington’s Rise at Halas Hall, and Other Bears Bullets
I’m not in tune with pro wrestling in the same ways as when I was younger. But I’ll still tune in for the high-profile events when friends remind me to do so. And while the Sami Zayn-Roman Reigns main event at the WWE Elimination Chamber event was the most compelling match I’ve seen in a while, the unsatisfying finish left me wanting more. It’s almost as if there is a reason I’ve fallen away from watching this form of entertainment with regularity.
- There was no way I’d expect to get multiple days of conversation from Al-Quadin Muhammad’s cut, but here we are. Day 3 of dealing with the fallout of this relatively minor (in the grand scheme of things) transaction begins with this look back at what the signing cost the Bears:
- Oof. This stings. With all their outgoing free agents last year, the Bears should’ve been prioritizing gaming the system and recouping compensatory draft selections. Instead, they opted for a different route. And in the end, it cost an opportunity to take more bites at the NFL Draft apple. For what it’s worth, GM Ryan Poles turned a few Day 3 selections into an all-out blitz of late-round picks. It was truly a masterclass in creating something out of nothing. Maybe I’m being selfish, but I can’t stop thinking about how there could’ve been more.
- Speaking of offseason decisions that I’m looking back on, seeing this shook me and I had to share it:
- Letting a young, productive player walk only to see your offensive line needs grow exponentially a year later stinks. To be clear, I’m not bringing this up to beat a dead horse. Nor am I saying the Bears can’t overcome this bit of misfortune. It just feels like a missed opportunity. Then again, it was a missed opportunity by Ryan Pace to not extend Daniels when he could. Especially when he did it for so many others over the years. It is water under the bridge at this point. And yet, I can’t ignore it because of the roster construction Chicago must engage in this offseason.
- Also, yes, I understand this new regime didn’t see Daniels as a schematic fit despite his age (he’s still just 25!), experience (he already has 5 years in the league), and skill (was one of the Bears’ better linemen). But over the years, we’ve learned the hard way that prioritizing scheme fit can backfire in painful ways. Whether it was with Greg Olsen and Mike Martz … or cutting Julius Peppers to bring in Jared Allen … or Matt Nagy’s obsession with a QB who could run his system. All in all, this means to me that (1) the scheme/system better be a game-changer and (2) your front office’s ability to find fits better be upper echelon. In other words, this had better work.
- This offseason will tell us so much about Poles, Assistant GM Ian Cunningham, and the rest of this front office. Can’t wait to see it all unfold.
- It’s going to be a long 67 days between now and draft day:
- The way I see it, every mention of a Justin Fields trade rumor simply inflates the value of the No. 1 pick on the trade market.
- I’ll take it a step further: I predict (say it like ya mean it!) we’ll see Fields trade rumors subside after the first and second waves of free agency. Once the Bears put their new league year plans in motion, we’ll have better clarity as to what they’ll do with Fields (probably not trading him) and the first overall pick (they’re probably trading that one).
- Alex Ballentine (Bleacher Report) lists ideal landing spots for a bunch of top draft-eligible prospects. The Bears pop up as fits for defensive linemen Jalen Carter and Will Anderson (because duh!). However, I can make cases for all of the players on the list. Chicago has so many needs, you can make that case for a bunch of dudes.
- Following Ashton Washington’s arc has been fun. And I’m glad her ascent through the ranks continues in Chicago:
- I love seeing the Bears making progressive hires, like when Washington was part of the team’s 2021 Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship/Nunn Wooten Scouting Fellowship class. Washington would go on to become the first woman to be hired as a scout for the franchise. In 2022, Washington was given a promotion to Player Personnel Coordinator. I’m digging that Washington continues climbing the ladder. Make football truly for everyone and the game will grow in ways we can’t even imagine. And that is something that a charter franchise of the NFL should be doing.
- One of my favorite things about Brett, as a writer, is his ability to craftily write this and effortlessly capture the spirit of the thing:
- Pau Gasol is a Bulls legend. And I guess Dwyane Wade had a moment, too:
- Patrick Kane has been good at playing hockey throughout the duration of his career in Chicago:
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