Draft Open Thread

Hey y’all. Been a while – sorry, but things got pretty hectic on my end over the last several weeks and I haven’t had much time for anything, much less this terrible blog. I thought I would just drop an open thread in here for this weekend’s draft, probably the most overhyped show in all the land. For a nice primer, read Jason’s annual draft post on how the contracts are all structured. Let’s hope that our first rounder plays more this year than our first rounder last year.

Bears Free Agent Signings

The Bears have been busy in free agency.

I think everyone reading here will be happy with the signing of Danny Trevathan from the Broncos. This year, the Broncos conclusively proved (like the Ravens back in the day) that you can win a Super Bowl with a hard thumping insane defense with no offense, and the addition of Trevathan now gives the Bears a fearsome duo of linebackers alongside Pernell.

We also signed a solid right tackle in Bobby Massie away from the Cardinals. This is more important than people think, as now Long can move back to his more natural spot at right guard.

Porter got re-upped for three years. He looked solid in the backfield for the Bears. Not a superstar by any means, but solid.

I was surprised to see Jaquizz Rodgers get re-upped for a year to back up Langford.

I will keep adding to this post as more signings come. I think that the Bears may be done in free agency, but we will see. I am very happy with these pickups.

UPDATE 3-14-16 – Wow Halas Hall is a busy place. The Bears have re-upped Mitch Unrein (2 year deal), Marc Mariani (1 year deal) and Sherrick “the Irishman” McManis (2 year deal). We have also picked up Akiem Hicks and Jerrell Freeman, further bolstering the defense.

UPDATE 3-15-16 – Zach Miller re-upped for a two year deal.

Chief Illoviewek

So you all know by now that Lovie Smiff is now the head coach of the Illinois football team. What a weird deal.

The new AD fires Cubes on his first day and gives Groce the dreaded “vote of confidence”. Expect to see a pink slip for Groce in the near future.

While the ax was falling on Cubes, we had recruits on campus and Spring Practices were supposed to start soon. That has been delayed.

But you know, none of this typical Illinois handling of athletic department things really matters. The fact of the matter is that Cubes was always a place holder, and it was good to start over (again), even though we now have yet another coach (and his son) sucking on the buyout teat. Sigh.

The first thing I did when I heard of the hiring of Lovie was take a giant shot of whiskey. But after thinking about it, I imagine that our new AD, Josh Whitman, wanted to make a splash and just get all the old people OUT and start over.

I don’t think this is the worst thing in the world, although we can certainly begin preparations for losing our challenges, of course. And since in the short term we will be getting beaten as usual like a red-headed stepchild, Lovie won’t have the opportunity to screw up the end of the game with poor clock management. And as long as he refrains from putting the band back together and hiring YOU KNOW WHO as his offensive coordinator, it can’t really be all that bad. Can it? So what if we go from also-ran to also-ran. That was our destiny with Cubes anyways.

As always, we here at frt are prepared. We NEVER delete our story tags, and now we can just get right back in the game with our “Fire Lovie Smith” tag. Always, always be prepared.

Re-Making the Bears

The Bears are wasting no time this off season making clear their intentions of getting younger. Matt Forte has been dismissed and it appears that the writing is on the wall for the Black Unicorn (imho, one of the greatest nicknames in all of sports history).

While Forte is still productive and relatively healthy, he is ancient in football years. No doubt that was taken into consideration along with the salary he may command. In reality, old running backs are pretty worthless in the NFL, since you can always draft a fourth rounder from the SEC to get 80% of that production for 20% of the cost. Or the Big Televen in our case with Langford. But all it takes is one team that is on the verge of something good to offer that guy a big contract and I have no doubt that someone will seriously overspend on Forte.

As for Bennett, it has been clear for some time that he was on his way out, and that injury last year was the final straw.

I, for one, am liking what I am seeing with this team getting younger. It is the only way to win in the NFL.

As an odd side note, I think that Cutler is the only player left from the Ron Turner era on the roster.

More updates will be posted on roster changes as they come out.

Update: bye bye Bushrod.

My Favorite Time of Year

Now that the Super Bowl is over, the 2015 season has come to a close, and the 2016 season begins on March 9 (that is also the free agency start date). If you look at the Bears transaction report, you will see that all of our players were pulled off of the IR (and that is a lot of productive guys).

It is now time for a sh1tload of NFL players to lose their jobs and try to scurry around for another shot. This year isn’t any better or worse than any other year, it is just that time of year.

Players who have proven themselves can now begin to shop their wares, and teams with needs will be calling. On Feb. 16 teams can begin to designate their franchise tag players. Over the years I have come to appreciate this “deal making” time more than the rest of the year – especially since I haven’t had much to cheer for on the field.

I will toss in a consolidated update here once in a while as events warrant concerning the Bears.

Tanks Fer Nuttin’

Being a season holder for the Bears has very few perks, especially in the nose bleeds since I refuse to pay a PSL. Ever. One of the perks is the stream of correspondence I get from the team. After the season I got the usual “we love you” and “greatest fans ever” letters from the Bears brass. Oh hey, and I just got another letter from none other than “Smooth” Ted Phillips.
I will summarize the relevant parts.

Sorry we lost a bunch of games. We will get better with Pace and Fox. Passionate fans blah blah.

We waived the processing fee for your next invoice (this is good!).

Upgrades to your online experience (bfd).

No mention of the coming chaos with them ripping up the South Lot.

Here is the meat of the letter though.

One significant change for 2016 is we are introducing variable pricing to season tickets, and for the second straight year, we are not increasing your annual ticket cost. You will see a substantial pricing difference between preseason and regular season games. Preseason ticket prices will be reduced by 40% for all STHs. The ticket prices for our eight regular season home games will see an approximate 10% increase per game. However, the total 10 game ticket cost remains flat. We believe this two tier ricing approach better reflects the value for each game.

I have read this a hundred times and I still can’t believe that it is something they did.

NFL season ticket holders have been screaming for ages that they have to buy the pre season for ANY amount of money. So the Bears lowered the price of the pre season games (that I still have to buy) but hiked the price of the regular season games to make up for it. And I am still ON AVERAGE, paying the same amount for the pre season game as I did last year. Tanks Fer Nuttin’, Ted. Next time, just kick me in the balls instead of sending me a letter to explain how you are “de-valuing” the pre season games.

Super Bowl in Reno

Dan and I and our friend Brian and some others are heading out to Reno for the Super Bowl. Reno? Why Reno? Easy. In Reno things are comped, and in Vegas we are nobody.

The highlight is betting on the Super Bowl. It is great to be in a big real sports book (sure it’s nothing compared to Vegas but it beats the local bookie) and to also be able to bet on the NCAA and NBA games the day before, too.

This year the betting will be easy. Manning, who beat the Bears in the 2007 Super Bowl after the 2006 season, is despised by our crew (even though hell it is Ron Turner and our idiotic coaching and strategy that really did us in, but that’s beside the point) and we will gladly bet against them and for Carolina.

The line started around 4.5 for Denver but seems to have gotten as low as 3 as Denver fans piled in. Keep it up, Denver fans! Bet everything you can put your hands on. Not that I am any sort of line guru but I figured the line would start at 4.5 and even move beyond 7 since Tom Brady, Gronk and a bunch of random guys off the street replacing injured stars took Denver within a 2 point conversion of OT. But the line is going the other way, and that’s awesome.

We want a repeat of the Broncos vs. Seattle from 2 years ago when they were crushed from the opening kickoff and Manning’s dinky little passes went nowhere while the opposing offense piled up more than enough points.

As Bear fans we can count on a few things 1) likely not making the playoffs any time soon 2) watching the much better and hated Slack get into the playoffs, then hopefully losing in a heartbreaking fashion 3) putting money on someone else to win the Super Bowl than our usual hated teams and opposing players.