The Bears Aren’t Cheap

Dan (who is an expert in NFL finance based as far as I’m concerned) passed on this article to me from the Chicago Tribune about the Bears.

While the results weren’t what the team intended, the Bears ponied up when it came to constructing the roster during the Marc Trestman era, spending $271,469,560 on players in the 2013 and 2014 seasons combined, according to figures supplied by the NFL Players Association.

The Bears spent $131,522,517 in cash on player payroll in 2014, a tick below the $133 million salary cap.

Cash spending and the salary-cap figures are calculated differently. The Bears spent $139,947,043 in cash on player payroll in 2013. For the last two years, the Bears have spent 106.04 percent of the salary cap, putting them well above the mandated 89 percent minimum for cash spending, which must be achieved over a four-year period.

While we rail here at Fire Everybody about how poorly the Bears have performed on the field and also how poorly player development (especially on offense) has gone over the last 20 or so years, you can’t fault the McCaskey’s for spending dollars. They spend. They threw big contracts at the free agents that were supposed to produce for us, guys like Peppers, Cutty and Marshall, and they paid a lot for coaches and leaders that were supposed to lead us to victory. While we see the player costs here, we aren’t including the $20M or so that the Bears ate on a bunch of coaching contracts when they cleaned house and got rid of everyone after this years’ debacle.

Soldier Field is a dump although an upgrade over the complete mess it was prior to the rebuilding. They don’t have cheerleaders. They want to give up the beloved South Lot, the paradise of binge drinking, for a museum. And we lose, lose and don’t make the playoffs.

But they do spend money every day trying to fix it, and eat money when it isn’t working. We need to give them that.

Mariota to Bears?

Who knows how accurate the pundits are but in this mock draft the Bears pick up Mariota in the #7 draft pick.

I am astonished that Mariota would fall this far but what the hell do I know. This assumes that Gino Smith is the guy that the Jets build around and / or they don’t want to try to fix the problem through the draft, and that a bunch of other pretty broken teams are happy with their QB. From time to time I say stuff like I think Smith has talent but is poorly used / coached and I get little love with those comments ha ha but I guess if that happened it would be a bit of vindication.

Sure to add fuel to the Cutty fire…

It Sucks About Rose

Damn Derrick Rose is out for the season again with another injury. It stinks because Dan and I had tickets almost courtside for the Bulls at the Bucks coming up soon and I wanted to see that guy fly across the court.

I am not an NBA expert but the Bulls seem to me to be a team that would be worth a lot more broken up in parts than their worth playing together for Chicago. I see a lot of guys like Butler and Gibson that could be key parts of a Championship team elsewhere in important roles – but here in Chicago it isn’t coming together. Our friend Fro Dog has been on the Bulls forever to get rid of Thibs for using up his players during the endless regular season but for now I think everyone is kind of in mourning because the Rose story is pretty much over now in Chicago. We can’t wait forever for him to get back on the court and when he is on the court he won’t be a game changer anyways.

You never know… the Bulls could pull together now and get their game on and make a deep run in the playoffs, at least until they run into a hotter, better team built for the championship. Unfortunately there are a bunch of those teams and I don’t see the Bulls getting through them.

This Bulls era looks like it is destined to end far short of a championship.

Added a new “Fire” category – “Fire Derrick Rose”. We can’t wait around for him to come back any longer. The Bulls need to find their identity without him because he isn’t going to save the day.

Even India Now Has Cheerleaders

One of our longest running themes at this site, other than an enduring fascination of how someone as inept as Mr. Ron Turner can keep employed in football, is that the “Drum Line” sucks and the Bears ought to get cheerleaders. Here is the original post and the comment thread goes on and on.

Well now the Bears are so far behind the times that even India has cheerleaders for cricket. This post in Deadline describes how Snyder of the Redskins imported cheerleaders and it is pretty funny.

Maybe now that we’ve cleaned out the front office some day they can have an actual marketing department and figure out how the cheerleaders could be great ambassadors for the Bears. Kind of like when old man Wirtz died and the Blackhawks figured out that it was good to have games on TV.

15 Quarterbacks

I was working out the other day and had on ESPN. They keep running their afternoon shows full of NFL stuff even after the Super Bowl. This is the worst time for them, as the new league season hasn’t started yet so there is no draft news, no free agents moving around, nothing. They scrape and hope for even the most trivial news to report on.

There was an announcement by the Seattle brass that they are working on Russell Wilson’s new deal, and that it will be unique – not like the other deals, they say. Well, the talking heads seized on this to have a little talk about.

What they talked about in regards to Wilson was boring, but in the middle of the talk, Bill Polian said something that was interesting to me and made me think a bit. It went something like this (and I paraphrase):

There are really only 15 guys in the league that deserve to be quarterbacks. Wilson is one of them.

15, eh? My kneejerk was to agree with him – but I decided to list all of last years qb’s and count for myself.

So, here is the list of all of the guys who played qb last year, and had at least one pass, in order of passing yards.

Drew Brees
Ben Roethlisberger
Andrew Luck
Peyton Manning
Matt Ryan
Eli Manning
Aaron Rodgers
Philip Rivers
Matt Stafford
Tom Brady
Ryan Tannehill
Joe Flacco
Jay Cutler
Tony Romo
Russell Wilson
Andy Dalton
Colin Kaepernick
Brian Hoyer
Derek Carr
Alex Smith
Cam Newton
Kyle Orton
Teddy Bridgewater
Blake Bortles
Geno Smith
Ryan Fitzpatrick
Mark Sanchez
Josh McClown
Nick Foles
Austin Davis
Drew Stanton
Kirk Cousins
Shaun Hill
Carson Palmer
Mike Glennon
Zach Mettenberger
Charlie Whitehurst
Colt McCoy
Jake Locker
EJ Manuel
Derek Anderson
Michael Vick
Ryan Lindley
Chad Henne
Case Keenum
Matt Cassel
Ryan Mallett
Brandon Weeden
Matt Hasselback
Jimmy Clausen
Christian Ponder
Jimmy Garappolo
Connor Shaw
Johnny Manziel
Chase Daniel
Matt McGloin
Tom Savage
Logan Thomas
Matt Flynn
TJ Yates
Ryan Nassib
Matt Schaub
Brock Osweiler
Matt Simms
Blaine Gabbert
Matt Moore
Kellen Clemens
Jordan Palmer
Matt Barkley
Tarvaris Jackson

As I was typing this list I laughed more than a few times. I think my favorite might be Luther – that guy is so old, yet he keeps making rosters. There are a lot of guys on the list that are career bench warmers – Brock Osweiler is behind Payton in Denver and obviously will never see the field unless and until Manning quits/gets hurt. So that isn’t too bad of a gig for him as far as longevity goes, but he may never develop into the player he thought he might be.

Looking at the list I would be a bit more liberal than Polian was and say that maybe 20 or so of these guys are legit quarterbacks, including Jay. I ran into another Cutler hater in the airport on the way back from Reno a few weeks ago. I asked him what his plan was if we got rid of him. Just like every other Cutler hater I have met, it looks something like this:

1) Cut Jay
2) ???
3) Success!!

Well, we will know much more on Cutler when free agency starts in a month. If they let his 2016 guarantee go before trading/releasing him, that will be that. And as an aside, I put Cutler in my top 20 qbs.

I can’t wait to see what happens when the season starts in a month. Pace and Fox have a ton of work to do. It will be one of the most interesting off seasons in recent memory.

Praise for the Hoops Oddsmakers

Dan, our friend Brian, and I recently were in Reno for the Super Bowl. We go there to relax and unwind a bit and also to gamble at the sports book in town. Why Reno? Hell, it is way cheaper than Vegas and they treat you like a king.

One of the days we usually hang out at the Sports Book, get free drink tickets, and put a bunch of bets on NCAA and NBA games. It is pretty amazing when you look at the increased level of competition from a typical Big Ten game to then move to a division zero team like Louisville and then on finally to an NBA game.

I just started making random bets and this was one of them – Memphis + 17.5 points under Gonzaga. Boy has the Memphis program fallen on hard times since Mr. “One and Done” moved on to Kentucky.


Somehow Memphis managed to lose by 18! (we had already crashed by then and I checked the score in the morning) Of course black helicopter fans would note that Memphis was losing by nearly this amount at the half and then in the second half the game dragged on and then Gonzaga just barely covered…

We also had Mr. Harden of Houston split 2 free throws with almost no time left making both Dan and I a loser even though we had Houston on opposite sides of the line! I had 5.5 points and Dan had 7 and then managed to win by 6. Never thought I’d see that and it seemed almost personal.

Dear Valued Season Ticket Holder

I got a letter from Ted Phillips the other day. It is longer than most of the missives I have received from him over the years, but I guess he had some ‘splainin to do, as Ricky Ricardo used to say. Here it is:
ted letter
I think I will fisk this, just a bit.

“The 2014 season started with high hopes and ended in total disappointment. We decided a new direction was necessary, and we have acted quickly and decisively.”

I will give the Bears credit, they cleaned house after the wheels fell off the cart last year. I think a lot of Bear fans will respect this.

“A charismatic leader, Coach Fox has already formed a solid relationship with Ryan Pace, as they have begun hiring a coaching staff, evaluating our roster and taking decisive action to bring the Bears back to prominence.”

Interesting that he describes Fox as “charismatic”. This is part of what we have been discussing here at good ‘ol frt – Chicago wants more of an asshole on the sidelines. Also, Ted uses that word “decisive” again. He used it when describing cleaning out the offices at Halas Hall – this could be an embedded way of saying that the roster will see a LOT of turnover, very soon.

“We will continue to deliver value to make your gameday experience at Soldier field second to none.”

There is literally no way possible that they could do this. But it sounds nice.

“Your 2015 season ticket prices will not increase.”

Nice of them. I think they might have had a pretty major revolt if they jacked prices after this season.

The rest is boilerplate that I have heard before, but those were some things that stuck out.