- Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions. Included is the annual call for running back Matt Forte to be traded:
“I don’t know how much the Bears could get in return for Forte when you consider he’s 29, he’s got 2,260 carries and receptions combined over the past seven seasons and his contract calls for him to be paid $8.2 million this season. Again, I’m not saying he can’t be a valuable performer both as a running back and as a receiver in 2015. I just don’t believe a team would be willing to fork over much to acquire him. Forte’s value is probably greatest to the Bears right now.”
Every year somebody writes in and calls for Forte to be traded. And every year my answer is the same. Forte is the Bears best player right now. It would be insane to trade him, especially given that they’d never get what he’s worth.
These are the guys you want to keep.
- ESPN‘s Kevin Seifert and Matt Williamson rate the top 20 free agents this offseason. See any Bears on that list? That tells you everything you need to know.
- According to the article, the Bears are estimated to have the tenth most cap space available in the league at roughly $25 million.
- Mike McCarthy is giving up play calling duties and by all accounts is going to be more of a CEO-type head coach next season. That’s led to quite a number of new titles on the coaching staff. Via Darin Gantt at profootballtalk.com:
“They named Tom Clements associate head coach/offense, Edgar Bennett offensive coordinator, Alex Van Pelt quarterbacks/wide receivers coach, Mike Solari assistant offensive line coach.”
As Gantt notes, throwing an extra position group on Van Pelt’s “a little curious”. The guess here is that McCarthy might be giving up play calling duties and Clements might be the offensive coordinator but that means McCarthy will be spending a lot more time with the quarterbacks, making Van Pelt literally a third wheel (with Clements also being a former quarterbacks coach).
Rob Demovsky at ESPN says that the shift also means that McCarthy will be spending a lot more time in meetings for both the defense and the special teams. I thought these quotes from McCarthy were interesting:
“‘And I will spend a lot of time with the special teams. Special teams needs to improve. It’s an area definitely of concern in the past.’
“McCarthy referred to himself as ‘the third guy in the room now’ when talking about the special teams coaching staff, which includes new coordinator Ron Zook and new assistant Jason Simmons. Zook, who was the assistant last season, replaces Shawn Slocum, who was fired Jan. 30.
“‘That culture’s going to change in there,’ McCarthy said. ‘I promise you that.’ “
The Packers special teams were miserable last year. It sounds like McCarthy is going to make sure that there’s going to be a lot more kicking asses and taking names next year.
I don’t have much doubt that McCarthy is doing the right thing here. It’s long past time for Clements to be a coordinator in more than just name and the best head coaches are the ones that coach the coaches. I think McCarthy will be pretty good at that.
- I like former Bears and Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown well enough. But calling him “the best free agent quarterback available” is stretching it. From Michael David Smith at profootballtalk.com.
- Armando Salguero at the Miami Herald gives this in depth breakdown of the Miami Dolphins as the NFL’s ultimate stagnant team. Its not a pretty picture and it makes you wonder if they won’t be headed towards a complete blow up in a few years as the roster ages with little overall influx of real talent.
One Final Thought
Of course, the Dolphins organization is a well oiled machine compared to the Cleveland Browns. Jason La Canfora paints a picture of unbelievable dysfunction starting with the meddling owner who insisted on drafting Johnny Manziel over the general manager’s preference for both Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater.
“The culture in the Browns building is toxic, I’m told. Morale is beyond low. If you can flee, you are fleeing. There is no shortage of individuals throughout that organization who would, like former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, get the hell out of there if at all possible. There’s an overwhelming sense of dread about the future and a fear that, come the end of the 2015 season, [owner Jimmy] Haslam will do the one thing he has managed to do with any consistency during his three-season reign — that is, blow up his entire building once again and fire everyone, in essence blaming all but himself for his sweeping failure.”
No matter who you root for in this league most of us can all be glad of one thing: you aren’t a Browns fan. This article is a must read for any fan who needs to feel better about the Bears current situation.