- I kind of figured Matt Forte would be too good of a team player to hold out. Let’s hope the Bears take care of him. Via Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times:
‘‘It never benefits a player or a team for somebody to hold out,’’ Forte said. ‘‘But I kind of got my mind put at ease by Jerry. He said that a deal would get done. He assured us repeatedly that a deal would get done. Where I’m from and how I was raised, when someone gives you their word, it goes a long way.’’
Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune has a good comment on the Forte situation:
“Contract extensions are the trickiest of deals to do says Jerry Angelo.
“That’s because when a player is on the open market, the natural process sets a value for the player.”
This one is going to be worse than most. Forte has gotten a fair bit of attention in the press and its upping his value, probably to a higher level than it should be, and Angelo knows it. The agent is going to want more than Forte should probably get and its going to cause trouble.
- Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune gets the scoop on new Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd, who is likely a Rashied Davis replacement:
“’He can play,’ former Cowboys receivers coach Ray Sherman told the Tribune. ’He has a great work ethic and is smart. Tough. He has no fear. He’s a great special teams player. He probably was the best special teams player there, and he played very well at receiver too.’”
- Matt Bowen at the National Football Post wonders how much new Bears receiver Roy Williams will help the Bears:
“Is it really an upgrade? I can’t call Williams a No.1 in the NFL (and I still view [Johnny] Knox as the top WR in Chicago), but the Bears get a player with a different skill set to add to their roster. If he can make some plays in [Mike] Martz’s offense, this will be an addition that pays off. Let’s see how if plays out in camp and during the regular season first.”
Williams tells Potash why Chicago was a good fit for him:
‘‘’To be back with [Mike] Martz and coach [Darryl] Drake is a blessing for me,’ said Williams, 29, who signed a one-year contract with the Bears after being released by the Dallas Cowboys. ‘To go to a system that I already know, that I’ve had success in — it was a pretty easy decision.’”
I heard a lot of snarky comments about the Bears claiming reclamation projects over the weekend. But in nearly every case there was a reason why the Bears thought the players were a fit for them and would improve because of it. They weren’t just picking up random failures. It was a methodical approach. For instance, Michael C. Wright at ESPNChicago.com points out why Vernon Gholston might do better in Chicago than he did in New York:
“Gholston played linebacker in Rex Ryan’s 3-4 system when the coach took over the Jets in 2009, before moving back to defensive end in 2010, a position — because of the scheme — still a world apart from what he’d been used to in the Buckeyes’ 4-3 defense.”
Gholston and Amobi Okoye both weren’t fits for their respective defenses. Williams is reunited with Martz. There are reasons why these guys might rehabilitate their careers here.
- David Haugh at the Chicago Tribune thinks Jay Cutler may be trying to under go a change in demeanor. Many will recall that I said the same thing last year. It didn’t last.
- In what everyone agrees is a critical camp for Marcus Harrison, he once again showed up overweight and couldn’t workout with the team. Not good. Via McClure and Biggs.
- Sean Jensen at the Chicago Sun-Times on new Bears center Chris Spencer:
“If the new guy replaces the old guy — the longest-tenured player who was beloved throughout the organization — then Spencer constantly will get compared to Kreutz.
“And, according to NFC West scouts, the styles couldn’t be more contrasting.
“Three of them said Spencer is bright, with one describing him as an ‘All-American kid.’ There’s also no denying that he’s big and athletic (6-3, 309 pounds). He also has shown himself to be tough, playing through injuries, oftentimes the shoulder. But he wasn’t considered a core leader in Seattle, and the Seahawks let him go, in part, because he didn’t have one trait that Kreutz had in spades: nastiness.”
- Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times quotes J’Marcus Webb:
“Offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb, a seventh-round draft pick in 2010 who became a starter as a rookie last season, is hoping to make even bigger strides this year.
‘‘’Definitely the Pro Bowl,’ Webb said.”
- McClure thinks the Bears might be in play for free agent cornerback Pat Hayden.
- Mike Florio at profootballtalk.com points out that many first round picks still aren’t signed despite the rookie wage scale. It appears that Adrian Clayborn’s deal is gumming up the works.
- The Superficial thinks that Kristin Cavallari finally found the Xanax.
One Final Thought
Former Bears scouting director Greg Gabriel at the National Football Post explains that the Bears needed to ignore the decline in play and resign Olin Kreutz for his leadership ability. Most of us tend to agree, I think, but the emotional upheaval amongst members of the media yesterday bordered on ridiculous. Biggs almost seemed to be going through the five stages of grief before our eyes on Twitter and even Angelo had to remind them that no one had died.
Sometimes things just don’t work out. The likelihood is that the Bears are now a little better at the line of scrimmage and a little worse as a team. We’re all sorry to see it but its not the end of the world.