Well, I covered what the Bears should do in Free Agency. To read that previous article, click here.
Needless to say, I’m not about to simulate a 7 round draft. Though entertaining, it would most certainly be an act in futility. So, I’m simply going to cover the first round of likely Bear prospects.
Some background info.
The Bears pick 14 (thanks Conte!). Given that as many as five teams before the Bears are QB starved (Texans, Jaguars, Browns, Raiders, Vikings), that would move us closer to #10 (I suspect one of them will draft Clowney).
DE Jadeveon Clowney will indubitably be drafted before us. In my estimation, OT Jake Matthews, OT Taylor Lewan, OT Greg Robinson, WR Sammy Watkins, and either OLB Khalil Mack or Anthony Barr too (both, most likely, but I’ll just count one) will be gone.
Now we’re suddenly drafting at #4, or that is to say, the Bears will get a chance to draft a top 3 DT, DE, or top 2 S/CB. It’s nearly a mathematical certainty.
If you see peruse recent mocks, they project the Bears drafting a DT, DE or S/CB, for this very reason.
That’s a nice position to be in; however, just because they’re top 3 doesn’t mean we should draft them at #14. For instance, the Bears could draft the #1 center at #14, but “money-ball” calculations must be considered.
So, let’s examine some of the viable options for the Bears at #14, and I shall once more say YAY, MAY, or NAY.
Butch’s Bear plan for FA and the Draft (2014 pre-combine edition)
Part I, Free Agency.
It’s been a while, so let me dust off the rust with some Kegal exercises…OK. Ready.
Let’s cut to the chase. Here’s what I would do if I were Bears’ GM for 2014.
Let’s start with Free Agency (FA).
Here’s a quick reference to the Top FAs.
Now, let’s just skip over the offense, shall we? I would LOVE C Alex Mack, but we don’t have that luxury. The Bears are in decent shape cap-wise, but it’s not like they have Raider cash right now. To create cap space, I would cut DE Julius Peppers, RB Michael Bush, and Punter Adam Podlesh. Cutting them alone would create about $15M in cap space. I would also re-structure some contracts like WR Earl Bennett, and look into extending some other contracts like WR Brandon Marshall, if need be.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made a big splash this week by announcing that he is considering abolishing extra points after touchdowns and instead just awarding a team seven points for a score. If a team wishes to attempt a 2-point conversion, they still may do so, but otherwise they may no longer have to be bothered with kicking the all-but-guaranteed extra point:
“The extra point is almost automatic. I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd (attempts). So it’s a very small fraction of the play,” Goodell stated in an interview about the potential removal of one of the game’s long-time components, “You want to add excitement with every play.”
Goodell’s proposal makes sense in the interests of time as well as keeping up the tempo of a game, but is eliminating the extra point really what’s best for the NFL? Let’s weigh the pros and cons of this innovative new idea:
- Goodell is right, extra points are automatic. Sending players onto the field several times a game for a play whose outcome is fairly certain seems unnecessary and may be inconsistent with the league’s focus on player safety.
- The 2-point conversion would stay in tact with the new plan, and that seems to be the only part of the extra point that offers any excitement or significant impact on the game.
- Extra points slow down the game, so an automatic seventh point would lead to less downtime. It would also leave one less opportunity for commercial breaks, which have occasionally been crammed in after the touchdown, extra point, and kickoff.
This past season has been successful, no doubt about it. Going from a 9-7 record to 11-5 record is a great improvement, and might not have happened without the return of Sean Payton, and newly hired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Rob Ryan turned the Saints defense around this year; with new faces like Kenny Vaccaro and Cameron Joran. Though we didn’t get to see any turnovers, New Orleans was much more improved than the last time against Seattle, when they put up 11 more points and converted on third down more as well. The New Orleans defense played great against the Seahawks considering the talent they had, the problem was more of the offense again.
In their first game against Seattle, New Orleans struggled to find a heartbeat on the offensive side of the ball all game. Drew Brees started out cold, and could only find his way in the end zone once by the help of tight end Jimmy Graham. The Saints were absolutely horrid on the ground game, only opting to rush it 17 times, not even getting 50 yards. Now, Seattle has one amazing defense, but something tells me the lack of dedication to the ground game had something to do with Brees’ under 150 yard performance.
What’s not to love about the draft? The offseason’s biggest event is full of surprises and twists as teams gamble the future of their franchise on top college football players. After an 0-6 start to the 2013 season and a serious regression at almost every position, the Giants will be looking to turn around quickly and the draft will offer a great opportunity to do so. Obviously, the draft won’t be a perfect answer to every one of the team’s problems, but throughout this article we’ll take a look at how GM Jerry Reese might try to bolster various weak areas of the team:
The Divisional Round is over and the Conference Championship Round is here! Keep checking back weekly for all team updates.
This week New England @ Denver 3:00 and San Francisco @ Seattle 6:30, both games Sunday est.