Friday, March 27, 2015

Bears add more defense, draft looking like offense

I go away and boom, the Bears sign three defensive players. Two young and hungry and one with loads of baggage.  They signed ILB Mason Foster out of Tampa Bay, Jarvis Jenkins, DE from the Redskins and the wild card signing, Ray McDonald, DE, San Francisco.

Obviously of the three, Ray McDonald is the most visible one.  His legal issues have been well outlined here by Chuck Canning.  The Chicago based women's groups are less than pleased. An the Bears organization has been cuffed around for signing him. For me, I am all about giving a young man chances to succeed or fail, as it may be.  We also need to be a bit more humane about what is being reported and what maybe the reality. His two most recent incidents have so far not resulted in any charges being filed. So in effect until then, nothing happened.

The reality of this signing is one of high upside and low risk if he gets into trouble. Fangio obviously has stuck his neck out on McDonald and we will see what happens. Regardless, the Bears have bolstered the DE position.  With the addition of McDonald and Jenkins it gives the appearance of a log jam.  However, what it says to me is that Willie Young will be looking at IR for 2015 and Jared Allen is going to be used quite differently and probably is his last season as a Bear.

The Mason Foster signing solidifies the Mike and Bostic will play Jack. The key here is the versatility of Jones. He can play both inside and outside. So you could be seeing a McPhee, Foster, Bostic and Jones base with Houston, Bass and Allen mix. The key take away is Fangio has versatility that he likes.  Ratliff and Ferguson at nose, Sutton can play along the line. With all this talent, I just don't see the Bears drafting a defensive lineman at 7.

For me, I see them going OL in the first round. If it is not a need now it will be next season.  I know some believe that Ferguson is not big enough to be a every down NT. If you look at Fangio's history he likes smaller, faster NT and his line variations lend more to Ego than a big nose stuffer.  There are a couple top rated OL coming out and I see the Bears hitting that first.    

Update: Bears sign CB Alan Ball. Ball played his collegiate years with Illinois and last two seasons with the  Jag's. His best season was in 2013, when he had 2 INT and 24 Pass Deflections. Last season he suffered a bicep injury that hindered him. He is a good depth signing and brings good experience to the DB's.  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I haven't abandoned shiip

I am still here everyone, just went out of town. It seems like everywhere I go, the internet connections are terrible. I will be posting tomorrow so bear with me (pun intended)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bears playing it smart in free agency

We are in to week two of free agency and the Bears continue to be prudent and methodical in who they are going after. This week the signed OL Vlad Ducasse from the Vikings , and LS Tom Gafford from the Chiefs.

In the case of Ducasse, he was a second round pick by the Jets back in 2010. For all his potential he has not lived up to them and has had injury problems. This is a depth signing and would not look any further than that.

Tom Gafford spent seven seasons as the Long Snapper for the Chiefs, and considering there was no one on the roster, this was a key signing.

If there are any updates, I will post them up.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bears hit a trifecta and more to come

The 2015 season started and the Bears picked up three players. One on offense and two for the defense. They still have plenty of cap space for a few more and then they will sign the leftovers to one year minimum deals.  Before we start a quick review of who signed, it appears the Cutler was never being offered as trade. Bernstein whiffed on that one big time, and frankly got lucky on his wind aided call on Marshall.

For me the best signing of the day was Eddie Royal, WR.  Royal is a competent receiver that seemed to find a groove in SD. He brings quickness and still has speed, maybe not deep speed but enough that DB's and LB's can sit on routes like last season.  Brad Biggs called him a #3 WR today on the Score, I think he is wrong for Royal will be the #2 guy coming off the slot.  It also gives the Bears some room to draft a WR in the middle rounds of what are saying is a deep WR group.

Next is Antrel Rolle, S. I know he had a tough season last year but Rolle has been a top performer his whole career. Yes, at 32, he is long in tooth but he is serious upgrade over last season. Rolle gives Fangio versatility for he can play SS and FS. The real reason this signing is a strong one is his leadership skills. Coughlin called Antrel, the consummate professional and that has been missing big time on the Bears defense.

Last is Pernell McPhee at outside linebacker. He is an upcoming defensive player and as he calls himself, "violent".  This is a critical area for the Bears for we have witnessed the mess the last two seasons.  He is a good edge rusher, can play anywhere, even at NT. He should have immediate impact and puts McClellin's career in question.

I think the key to what the Bears are doing on defense is versatility. Everyone is clamouring for a DL. I am not convinced it is needed. Yes, if one is there great but for me not the greatest need. Remember Ferguson and Ratliff can play nose. Fangio like small NT, not space eaters.  We also have to remember, Fangio moves players all over the place, so look for defensive players that can do many things.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

2015 season is here ...

Today starts the 2015 season. In a few hours we will begin to hear who the Bears have or will sign from free agency . What we know so far as is this,

1. Bears shopped Cutler (well supposedly) and it looks like he staying (for now). His contract becomes guaranteed on Thursday.

2. Pernell McPhee LB of the Ravens will sign with the Bears. Giving them a huge upgrade in that area. Was rated second by PFF for last season and can play various positions as well. Giving Fangio lot's of options.

I will update as the signings come in or other developments.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Bears 2015 season about to begin

The shoe will drop on Monday, as teams can announce Free Agent signings. Some expect the Bears to be active, and we know one position for certain and that is back up QB. Not meaning any big money but they need to sign someone. I suspect cornerback would be another area of interest and would not surprise to see an ex-49er or two to pop up.

Now onto Brandon Marshall. Yesterday, Brad Biggs reported that a NFL source has stated Marshall is being shopped. Later in the day, Biggs is reporting that the Bears would have liked a mid round pick but will settle for a fifth. Biggs is also stating, his sources, tell him if nothing happens trade wise, then the Bears will cut Marshall before this coming Thursday, when his contract gets locked in. If Marshall is moved either way, the Bears will see around $3.9M in cap savings.

Following up on this story is the reason Marshall is in play is that Fox wants to get the drama out of the locker room and Marshall is one of the problems. We could argue that either way, but if Brandon is gone then the Bears will be active in the FA and draft, to find a WR.  The Bears will have lost one of their most productive receivers and leave the cupboard bare. If the do indeed move him, and with the thinness of depth, it will speak volumes of the locker room issues we had heard about.

Over the weekend we will hear a lot of rumors about Marshall, like the one right now he is headed to the Jets. I remind everyone until Pace/Fox say it along with press release then it is nothing more than speculation. Also, once again, Jay Cutler is rumored to being shopped for a trade. I mentioned yesterday in a tweet, that the Bears media has had nothing to write about, so to keep their jobs they have to churn up stories and they rely on the usual "unnamed source". I got those too ... plenty of them!

Speaking of locker rooms, word is that Fox had the lockers moved back to where players hung out together by position group.

Other odds and ends, it is rumored the Lance Briggs will not be back. No word on Tillman but I believe that will be determined by FA signings.

Update:  Per various sources, Bears have agreed to trade Brandon Marshall to the Jets, pending physical. It is be said, for a fifth round pick. Details as the come.

Update: I knew I should have waited, the Bears have re-signed QB Jimmy Clausen.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bears stay quiet ... that is a good thing

The combine is done, and the Bears were about the only organization without any rumors.  I like how Ryan Pace is keeping a lid on his people as they go about their business.  While we wait for the 10th of March, there has been a few interesting things happening around the league, especially as we see some cap causalities and older players getting their walking papers.

First off, the Bears did sign Demontre Hurst to a two year deal. He played some nickel corner last season, and his performance was uneven at best. Fangio must have seen something in this player to bring him back.

Today, the Eagles released G Todd Herremans. He had a positive PFF grade from 2007-2013 but struggled last year with injuries. He started 124 of 127 games in his 10 seasons with Philadelphia. Is he a fit for the Bears? Maybe a bit long in the tooth at 32 but if the Bears are thinking of moving Long to tackle, why not? Bring him on a respectful vet deal and see what happens. He plays RG and worst case good depth.

Lions cut Reggie Bush, and that was no cap release since Bush carried not that much of a contract. Sounds like Detroit was done with that experiment.  Now what is interesting is that he was a 1st round draft pick by the Saints in 2006. So there is that Pace connection again, and not suggesting whenever an ex-Saint hits the market, Ryan is going to grab him. However, Reggie as a back up to Forte along with Carey gives some nice depth there.

Other than that, it's all draft talk, which I still contend is premature until the FA situation is done and we can see the real needs the Bears will have.  One thing I have been hearing regarding the 3-4 transition is that Fangio doesn't use space eaters at NT. He often goes with 2 lineman and extra LB's so while Shelton would be a solid fit, they might look elsewhere if they feel Ego and JayRat can get it done.

Update:  Rumors are out this morning that Josh McCown is negotiating a contract with the Bills.