A Fight For the Trenches, the Lamar Effect, One Underrated Need, and Other Bears Bullets
Yours truly got his TV fix in full on Sunday night with the season premiere of HBO’s Succession and the first two episodes of Love is Blind on Netflix. I mean, something has to hold me over until important football things start happening again.
- Speaking of important football things, I see Lamar Jackson is in the headlines again:
- On the one hand, good for him in terms of leading this attempt at a player-empowerment movement. But on the other hand, this feels like Exhibit A as to why players should have an agent or well-placed adviser on the ready. This is just getting out of hand with a player whose deal should’ve been locked in a while ago.
- Also … this bit of news makes me glad the Bears moved out from that first pick because Lamar Jackson being available on the market could’ve done wonders in mucking up their plans. Crisis averted.
- As for the Bears, the big number around here is 31 — which happens to be the number of days between now and the 2023 NFL Draft. And I have an idea of what Ryan Poles’ biggest needs will be when he go on the clock with the team’s first pick:
- I wonder if that’ll change if they happen to trade out of the pick. Hmmm…
- Sure, I could’ve put “Cornerback” as the bronze-medal winner above. However, sometimes I like using the joke tweet to set up a serious conversation we need to have. Because, yes, Chicago needs help on both sides of the line. That much we know. But in a pass-happy league, you need depth and excellence in your secondary. The Bears have a strong foundation with Jaylon Johnson, Kyler Gordon, Jaquan Brisker, and Eddie Jackson manning the secondary. However, it is evident this group needs a third starting-caliber cornerback on the outside. Let’s keep it real with each other. As long as Justin Jefferson and Amon-Ra St. Brown can line up anywhere in a formation, the Bears need to have a cornerback who can match that energy. Even if it is with a wet-behind-the-ears rookie with upside, heart, and the cojones to go toe-to-toe with a big dawg.
- Speaking of big dawgs, the Bears’ starting left tackle is celebrating a birthday today:
- A big free agency signing or swinging a big trade could’ve moved Braxton Jones off left tackle. But because neither of those things went down, I see this year being another “prove it” year for the rising second-year player. Jones essentially finds himself where quarterback Justin Fields was at this time last year in that the Bears are going to give him a long leash. The Southern Utah product will get a chance to show whether he’ll sink or swim. It feels like a dangerous proposition when you consider Jones’ primary function is protecting the QB’s blindside. But Fields proved the juice was worth the squeeze last year. And Jones will be given the opportunity to do the same in 2023.
- What if it turns out the Bears drafted their franchise QB (2021) and LT (2022) in consecutive drafts? That would be something.
- On the other side of the line, Mark Potash (Sun-Times) writes about the Bears being in no rush to make defensive line upgrades. And why would they be in a hurry? Hurried decisions often backfire in the worst ways. Also: this upcoming NFL Draft class is loaded with defensive line talent. Poles can do well by addressing needs here on draft weekend. This isn’t to say there aren’t free agents who intrigue me. There are a handful of players I can see as fits for this defensive line. But I feel as if the team did well in filling depth needs along the line. Now, it needs a butt-kicking draft pick who can elevate the group.
- Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson finds fits for receiver-needy teams around the NFL. Thankfully, the Bears aren’t on that list. Shout out to the Panthers for that D.J. Moore trade.
- Watch Dansby Swanson hit his first spring homer with the Cubs. Opening Day at Wrigley is just three sleeps away.
- The Bulls got the dub *AND* Patrick Beverley got his pound of flesh against
pseudo Lakers GMformer teammate LeBron James:
- Blackhawks stock is down after yet another loss, but every defeat is one step closer to getting a franchise-altering prospect. (BN Blackhawks)
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